The next time the Meralco Bolts step on the floor of the SMART-Araneta Coliseum, a familiar face will be there to shore up the team’s frontline.
Two-time Most Valuable Player Danny Ildefonso, a late addition to the squad, will be back in harness for the Bolts.
An interesting sidelight will be how Ildefonso will fare against Blackwater. The team picked him up in the dispersal draft, but let him go after he had a falling out with the squad.
The Elite didn’t sign Ildefonso as they claimed the veteran center was asking for the moon and the stars.
Ildefonso’s manager William Ong said they were not asking for too much and even accused Blackwater of depriving his player of his livelihood by not releasing him right away. The 6-foot-5 Ildefonso was only released by the Elite a few days before the start of the 40th season of the PBA.
Now that he finally found a home at Meralco, Ildefonso said all he wanted was to be given another chance of proving his worth and help out a team that has a chance to contend.
“Yun lang naman ang gusto ng mga beteranong player na kagaya ko, yung maipakita na makakatulong pa tayo sa team,” added Ildefonso.
Head coach Norman Black said he waited several days before deciding to enlist these two players, who performed well in practice.
Cortez is expected to stabilize the point guard spot of the team.