Danny Ildefonso
Danilo Ildefonso is a Filipino professional basketball player for the Petron Blaze Boosters in the Philippine Basketball Association
Philippine Basketball Association
The Philippine Basketball Association , is a men's professional basketball league in the Philippines composed of 10 company-branded franchised teams. It is the first and oldest professional basketball league in Asia and the second oldest in the world after the NBA...

. Nicknamed Danny I and The Demolition Man, Ildefonso is a two-time PBA Most Valuable Player in 2000 and 2001. He played amateur basketball for the National University
National University (Philippines)
National University is a university in Manila, Philippines.It is a founding member of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and is a pioneer of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities...

NU Bulldogs
The National University Bulldogs is the collegiate men's varsity team of National University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines...

 in the UAAP and for AGFA in the Philippine Basketball League
Philippine Basketball League
The Philippine Basketball League is a commercial semi-professional basketball league in the Philippines. The league is composed of several commercial teams with several collegiate and provincial stars.-History:...

 and a member of the Philippine national basketball team on separate occasions.

Amateur career

Ildefonso was discovered after suiting up for his native Pangasinan
Pangasinan is a province of the Republic of the Philippines. The provincial capital is Lingayen. Pangasinan is located on the west central and peripheral area of the island of Luzon along the Lingayen Gulf, with the total land area being 5,368.82 square kilometers . According to the latest census,...

 in the Palarong Pambansa. He played for the NU Bulldogs in the UAAP, teaming up with fellow Pangasinense and later-AGFA and San Miguel teammate Lordy Tugade
Lordy Tugade
Lordy Tugade is a Filipino professional basketball player in the Philippine Basketball Association who currently plays and recently signed by the Petron Blaze Boosters....

, leading the Bulldogs to respectable finishes in the UAAP. He later played for AGFA in the Philippine Basketball League but had a difficult time leading the Photokina franchise to the title, losing to Tanduay in championship matches. He was regarded as the second-best big man of his class behind Rommel Adducul
Rommel Adducul
Romel Adducul is a professional basketball player from the Philippines who currently plays in the Philippine Basketball Association for the Powerade Tigers....

, and was highly sought after by then-SMB coach Ron Jacobs after seeing the potential in his rail-thin frame. The tremendous potential seen in his combination of youth, footwork, leaping ability and work ethic as shown by him bulking up after only two seasons in the PBA were enough to convince San MIguel to trade their number two pick, Noy Castillo, and cash for the No.1 pick Ildefonso. Ildefonso was also involved in some controversy after signing with the now-defunct Pangasinan Presidents of the MBA, having a live contract with AGFA and at the same time being selected in the draft. San Miguel had to buy out all his contractual obligations for him to suit up with the Beermen.

Ildefonso led the Philippines to a gold-medal in 1997 Southeast Asian Games
1997 Southeast Asian Games
The 19th Southeast Asian Games were held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 11 October to 19 October 1997. It was opened by President of Indonesia names Suharto...

 alongside Rommel Adducul
Rommel Adducul
Romel Adducul is a professional basketball player from the Philippines who currently plays in the Philippine Basketball Association for the Powerade Tigers....

 and Ralph Rivera.

Early years

After a successful amateur career, Danny Ildefonso applied for the PBA draft despite being underage. This prompted the PBA to change their age limit rules, enraging the PBL. Even as Ildefonso entered the draft, he also signed a contract to play for the Pangasinan Presidents of the newly formed Metropolitan Basketball Association
Metropolitan Basketball Association
The Metropolitan Basketball Association or Metroball was a professional basketball league in the Philippines founded in 1998.The MBA overtook the Philippine Basketball Association's plans on regionalization when the league adopted a home-and-away format where teams, instead of representing...


Ildefonso was eventually drafted first-pick overall by Formula Shell
Shell Turbo Chargers
The Shell Turbo Chargers is a former Philippine Basketball Association team under the ownership of Pilipinas Shell Corporation. Shell has been a member of the PBA since 1985 until 2005 when the team filed for a leave of absence after the season. Shell sold its franchise to PBL team Welcoat Paints...

 in the 1998 PBA Draft, but was traded to San Miguel for the Beermen's second overall pick, Noy Castillo, and cash. The SMC franchise wanted the promising youngster in their ranks to be the future cornerstone of the team and this forced them to buy out his MBA contract.

In his rookie season, Ildefonso became one of the key players for the Beermen alongside Nelson Asaytono, leading the Beermen to two runner-up finish in the All-Filipino and Commissioner's Cup, losing to Alaska
Alaska Aces (PBA)
The Alaska Aces is a professional basketball team in the Philippine Basketball Association since 1986 under the ownership of the Alaska Milk Corporation and the owner of 13 PBA championships with the 2010 PBA Fiesta Conference as their latest...

 on both occasions. At season's end, he won the Rookie of the Year honors while averaging 11.6 PPG in 74 Games which leads all Rookies in 1998.

The next season, with the departure of Asaytono and the arrival of Filipino-American rookie Danny Seigle
Danny Seigle
Daniel Charles Seigle is a Filipino American professional basketball player in the Philippine Basketball Association for the Barako Bull Energy. A 6'6", 205-lb. swingman, he is fondly called Dynamite Danny and Danny S. by many...

 and the performances of imports Terquin Mott and Lamont Strothers, San Miguel won two titles in the 1999 Commissioner's Cup and Governor's Cup, ending a five-year title drought.

Back-to-Back MVP Awards

In 2000, Ildefonso and Seigle would again lead San Miguel to two titles, retaining the Commissioner's and Governor's Cup championships. Ildefonso won the two of the five straight Best Player of the Conference honors and defeated Seigle to win the Most Valuable Player Awards.

In 2001, San Miguel defeated sister team Barangay Ginebra Kings
Barangay Ginebra Kings
The Barangay Ginebra Kings is a professional basketball team of the Philippine Basketball Association founded in 1979 and owned by the Ginebra San Miguel, Inc., a subsidiary of the San Miguel Corporation...

, 4-2 to win the All-Filipino Cup. Despite two losses to Red Bull and Sta. Lucia
Sta. Lucia Realtors
The Sta. Lucia Realtors was a professional basketball team in the Philippine Basketball Association.The Universal Robina Corporation team is one of the founding members of the PBA. Formerly known as Great Taste and Presto-Tivoli Ice Cream, they have won a total of 6 championships. Sta...

 in the Commissioner's Cup and Governor's Cup finals series, Ildefonso went on to sweep the Best Player of the Conference honors and won his second Most Valuable Player Award, joining Bogs Adornado
Bogs Adornado
William "Bogs" Adornado is a former Filipino athlete who played basketball in both the amateur and professional ranks. He made his mark playing in the Philippine Basketball Association from 1975 to 1987...

 and Alvin Patrimonio
Alvin Patrimonio
Alvin Vergara Patrimonio , nicknamed "The Captain" and "Captain Lionheart" is a retired Filipino professional basketball player from the Philippine Basketball Association and is the current team manager of his former team, the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants.Patrimonio holds several PBA records...

 as the only players to win the said award on back-to-back seasons. He also won the All-Star Game MVP honors for the victorious Veterans team. Danny Ildefonso is one of the rare players to have won all three major MVP awards in the league: regular season, finals, and all-star game MVP.


In 2002, Ildefonso temporary left San Miguel to join the Philippine National Training Pool in the preparation for the 2002 Asian Games
2002 Asian Games
The 2002 Asian Games, also known as XIV Asiad is a multi-sport event held in Busan, South Korea from September 29 to October 14, 2002. Busan is the second city, after Seoul in 1986 to host the Games. A total of 419 events in 38 sports were contested by 7,711 athletes from 44 countries...

 in Busan
Busan , formerly spelled Pusan is South Korea's second largest metropolis after Seoul, with a population of around 3.6 million. The Metropolitan area population is 4,399,515 as of 2010. It is the largest port city in South Korea and the fifth largest port in the world...

. Ildefonso went on to join the team for the event but struggled throughout the Asiad, mainly due to his role of playing small forward, instead of his natural position of power forward. The Nationals ended up in fourth place after losing a heartbreaking semis matchup against South Korea. Ildefonso returned to the Beermen in the All-Filipino Cup but the Beermen placed only third in the said tournament.

Ildefonso would play inconsistent games as well as missing several games due to injuries in the 2003 season and the early parts of the 2004-05 season.

2005 Fiesta Conference Finals MVP

During the 2005 Fiesta Conference, the Beermen made it to the semifinals against Red Bull. Ildefonso played one of his best games of the tournament, and hit numerous clutch shots in the tournament, including a series-clinching game-winning fade away over the outstretched arms of Red Bull import Earl Barron
Earl Barron
Earl Daniel Barron, Jr. is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers in the National Basketball Association.-Career:...

 to lead San Miguel to the finals against the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals.

In the championship series, Ildefonso again played another impressive performance for San Miguel, leading them to their first title since 2001 and defeating the Phone Pals, 4-1. During the series, Ildefonso made a game-winning layup in game 2 against Asi Taulava
Asi Taulava
Pauliasi M. Taulava also known as Asi Taulava is a American-born Filipino-Tongan professional basketball player playing in the Philippines for the Meralco Bolts in the Philippine Basketball Association....

 and in Game 5, a running jumper that put San Miguel in the lead for good to clinch the series. Ildefonso was named Finals MVP.

Ildefonso was fined 5,000 pesos by the league after two technical fouls during Game 3 of the 2006-07 Philippine Cup semis. After a first technical foul after a verbal exchange with Mick Pennisi
Mick Pennisi
Michael Alfio Pennisi , better known as Mick Pennisi, is a Filipino-Australian professional basketball player in the Philippine Basketball Association who currently plays for the Barako Bull Energy. He was automatically hired by Red Bull in 2000...

, he was ejected in the fourth quarter during a face-to-face verbal exchange with Enrico Villanueva
Enrico Villanueva
Jose Enrico P. Villanueva , better known simply as Enrico Villanueva, and by the nicknames Raging Bull and E-Vill, is a Filipino professional basketball player for the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the Philippine Basketball Association...


2011 PBA Governor's Cup

The Petron Blaze Boosters reached the PBA finals this conference after a bad record last conference. He hit a game winning shot in Game 1 against Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters in a come from behind winning score of 89-88. Despite having injuries to four key players, Petron Blaze Boosters defeated the heavily favored Talk and Text for the Governor's Cup Championship, slamming the Texter's bid for a grandslam. His effectiveness and contribution earned him the Comeback Player award last season.

Life Story

Ildefonso's early struggles with poverty during his younger years while living on a farm with his parents and his rise from being a mediocre college player to becoming a college and amateur league superstar and eventually becoming the no.1 draft pick and the youngest player ever drafted in the PBA was shown on Maalaala Mo Kaya
Maalaala Mo Kaya
Maalaala Mo Kaya is a Philippine drama anthology series broadcast on ABS-CBN every Saturday evening and being hosted by Charo Santos-Concio. Currently, it became the longest-running drama anthology on Philippine television and on Asia...

ABS–CBN Corporation is a Philippine-based media conglomerate. It is the Philippines' largest media and entertainment conglomerate. The corporation was the merger of Alto Broadcasting System which at that time owned by James Lindenberg and Antonio Quirino, and the Chronicle Broadcasting Network ...

 in 2004. Versatile actor Victor Neri portrayed him.

External links

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