A day after closing a chapter in his young career, Dave Ildefonso shared a heartfelt message to National University.
Though his two-year stay in Jhocson Street did not end up with wins, the 19-year-old expressed his gratitude to all the Nationalians and the team’s boosters for taking him in as one of their own.
“I would like to thank first and foremost Sir Manny Sy [team manager] and Sir Hans Sy [school owner] for all the support they gave me throughout my stay in NU. I would also like to thank the NU community for welcoming me with open arms and for allowing me to represent the school,” said Ildefonso in an Instagram post.
“A big part of my heart will always belong to the Bulldogs and the NU supporters who were with me and the team through the toughest of times.”
Despite being one of the priorities of Ateneo de Manila University during the off-season of 2018, Ildefonso decided to join his dad Danny and brother Shaun in NU.
The 6-foot-1 guard never missed a UAAP game for the Bulldogs, averaging 16.18 points, 5.25 rebounds, and 2.46 assists per game.
However, the Bulldogs never made the Final Four during that time. They racked up a total of just six wins under Jamike Jarin.
Still, Ildefonso has no regrets.
“It’s never goodbye.
“No matter where my basketball journey takes me, I will always carry with me the memories and lessons that I gathered while wearing the NU jersey. NU will always be a part of the person that I will become,” he continued.
On Sunday, he made a life-changing decision.
Instead of returning to NU, he chose to come back home to Ateneo, where he graduated high school.
Ildefonso shared that the decision was tough, but he believes that being under Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin will lead to more opportunities for him to be part of the national team, as the American-Kiwi tactician is the program director of Gilas Pilipinas.
“I have made the decision to return to Ateneo to continue my basketball journey,” said Ildefonso, who will have to sit out Season 83 before getting to play for three seasons with the Blue Eagles.
“My biggest basketball dream has always been to represent the country in major international meets and I feel that this is the best path to that fulfillment of my dream.”
With this, Ildefonso is hoping that everyone understands the reasons for his departure from NU to his old home.
“Again, thank you all for your undying support and understanding.”