During Mighty Sports’ practice last Tuesday at Greenhills West in San Juan, Thirdy Ravena had a long talk with Dave Ildefonso.
Though the subject of their discussion was not disclosed to Tiebreaker Times, it was probably just the 23-year-old — who has just exhausted all his playing years in Ateneo — welcoming the 19-year-old former NU Bulldog back home.
Or maybe it was a warning.
“Good luck na lang sa kanya kay Coach Tab [Baldwin],” quipped Ravena, the UAAP’s only three-time Men’s Basketball Finals Most Valuable Player.
“That’s all the advice that he needs.”
Since arriving in the Philippines in 2015, the American-Kiwi tactician has a reputation for putting a premium on practices.
In Gilas, he always made sure that the once-a-week, two-hour sessions of the national team were time “well-spent”. And that didn’t change when he arrived in Ateneo four years ago.
But who could doubt the results, as he has produced so many national team prospects and pro basketball players during that time.
“Excited na akong pahirapan siya ni Coach Tab.”
Besides this, one of Ildefonso’s worries was whether the Ateneo community would embrace him once more, just like in high school. After all, he went to NU for college after five years with the Blue Eaglets.
“Sana ma-welcome ako ng mga Ateneans with open arms kahit na iniwan ko sila ng saglit,” he expressed.
If asked, Ravena feels confident that they will welcome him back with open arms.
“It’s great to have Dave once again. Na-miss namin siya sa Ateneo.”
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