November 08, 2017

Aces counting on Danny Ildefonso to develop their bigs

DANNY Ildefonso was partly credited for the player June Mar Fajardo has become with San Miguel Beer in the PBA.

Alaska hopes somehow he'll relatively help develop their big men too, now that the two-time league MVP has joined the franchise as part of its revamped coaching staff.

Not lost in coach Alex Compton is the work the 40-year-old PBA great has previously done on Fajardo, who at 27, is already a four-time MVP, five-time champion, and bound to win more at the rate he's been playing for the mighty Beermen.

While the 6-foot-11 Cebuano is a rare breed of his own, Compton still believes Ildefonso can facilitate the progress of Alaska's young core of big men consisting of Kevin Racal, Carl Bryan Cruz, Yutien Andrada, Marion Magat, and Jake Pascual.

"He will surely have a tremendous impact on the development of our big men," said Compton of Ildefonso, an eight-time PBA champion, back-to-back MVP winner (2000 and 2001), a five-time Best Player of the Conference, three-time Finals MVP, and Rookie of the Year.

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"And Danny Ildefonso was no doubt, both one of the best players and best men to have ever played in the PBA."

Ildefonso was in the twilight of his brilliant career with San Miguel when Fajardo came over to the team as its no. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. For a full season, the Urdaneta, Pangasinan native took the young Cebuano big man under his wings by serving as his mentor and guide until leaving the team in 2013 to play for Meralco.

Compton definitely would like the Aces' big men to learn from Ildefonso in the same manner Fajardo did.

"He has always had a tremendous work ethic and has detailed knowledge on how to play the game as a big man," said Compton of 'The Demolition Man,' an eight-time All-Star and two-time first Mythical team.

Ildefonso, also an assistant with the National University Bulldogs, was named part of the Alaska coaching staff of Compton on Tuesday together with champion coach Eric Altamirano and ex-team captain Tony deal Cruz.

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The three were added to the current team of head deputy Jeff Cariaso, Monch Gavieres, Franco Atienza and Paulo Layug.

The Aces had to reinforce their coaching staff following the departure of lead deputy Louie Alas and assistant Topex Robinson for Phoenix, where Alas is now the head coach.