Danny Ildefonso: Lakay comes home (July 23, 2014)
Rick Olivares [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 Danny Ildefonso (middle) is flanked by the author and NU guard Gelo Alolino. www.philstar.com

The new gym wasn’t built because he won a bunch of championships or put the school on the map of college basketball. His teams didn’t win any trophies but by God, they sure put the fear of God into more fancied opponents.

Suddenly, from the elevated track oval, chants of “Lakay!” – from the old warhorses who have stayed on as coaches or from those players who came after him – reverberate across the gym on a cold and rainy Tuesday afternoon, disrupting the video shoot for a new Gatorade campaign.

The conquering hero was home, and even the young guns acknowledged it.

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Once, Yeng Guiao’s Rain or Shine Elasto Painters were known as a tough, enforcer-laden team that made its presence felt through hard fouls and bruising play, earning a bit of a reputation as the league’s ‘Bad Boys’.

But in the PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup finals, Rain or Shine began showing a different side – laughing and joking with opponents, helping players up from off the floor – that could start to endear them to a larger part of the PBA’s fanbase.

Guiao, who is famed for his tough-as-nails, physical teams, doesn’t mind the shift in his players’ attitudes, especially if they keep winning the way they have in the recent past.

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Cone’s success tied to positive attitude (July 15, 2014)
Joaquin Henson [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone (second from right) with (from left) Trevor, Kevin, wife Cristina and Nikki in family pose. www.philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines - San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone wouldn’t be as successful if not for his competitive nature, spirituality, ability to communicate as a teacher, searching mind and genuine desire to build championship basketball teams by molding disciplined players with a positive attitude. That’s how his wife of 23 years Cristina explained what makes him tick. Since breaking into the PBA as Alaska head coach in 1989, Cone has won a record 18 titles and two Grand Slams. Cone, 56, is the longest running active coach with an uninterrupted career in the pro league today.

Last week, Cone piloted the Mixers to their fourth consecutive crown, dating back to the Governors Cup the previous season, and clinched a Grand Slam this campaign. No other PBA coach has captured two Grand Slams with Baby Dalupan, Tommy Manotoc and Norman Black claiming one each. Cone took his first Grand Slam with Alaska in 1996.

“Tim is naturally driven,” Cristina told The Star the other day. “With his positive attitude, he’s the type who sees a glass half-full not half-empty. He’s a great motivator who believes in taking no short-cuts to winning. He’s a big picture person. He wants to win the right way and doesn’t subscribe to winning at all costs. He loves teaching and looks forward to every practice. It’s very gratifying for him to see the growth of his players and he’s particularly excited to work with young players. He loves to build championship teams. He’s challenged by it. I never thought his coaching career would last this long but I’ve always known he has the mind of a good teacher.”

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MANILA, Philippines – PBA expansion team Blackwater Sports is hoping to land young players in the Expansion Draft on July 18, according to team manager Johnson Martines.

"Ang hinahanap namin ay 'yung mga bata," Martines told PBA.ph. "Maybe, we'll pick two or three veterans to guide the team."

Blackwater might also target the players they used to have in the PBA D-League who were left unprotected by their mother teams. They also hope to get promising players in the rookie draft later in the year.

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Danny Ildefonso. PBA/Nuki Sabio

The moment veteran Danny Ildefonso’s name was mentioned as among those left unprotected and made available for the upcoming dispersal draft, Blackwater Sports owner Dioceldo Sy expressed his team’s interest in acquiring the two-time Most Valuable Player.

“Right now, si Danny Ildefonso yung gusto namin sa dispersal draft,” Sy told InterAksyon.com.

Blackwater and another expansion squad, Kia Motors, will figure in the dispersal draft to be held on July 18.

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Only one year ago, first round picks Ryan Buenafe of Alaska and Rain or Shine’s Alex Nuyles were looking ahead to bright futures with the teams that selected them in the 2013 PBA Draft.

Buenafe and Nuyles were selected eighth and ninth overall in last year’s draft, going ahead of rookies like San Mig Coffee’s Justin Melton and Nuyles’ teammate Jeric Teng.

But now, the two are among the list of the players left unprotected for the upcoming dispersal draft for expansion teams Blackwater Sports and Kia Motors, according to sources from within their respective teams.

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Ildefonso says he’s good for 2 more years (July 12, 2014)
Alder Almo [ Source: Philippine Star ]

 Danny Ildefonso (right), pictured here with his former protege and now PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer, says he still wants to continue playing in the league if any of the new expansion teams wants his services. Alder Almo

MANILA, Philippines – Former two-time MVP Danny Ildefonso is at the twilight of a colorful career in the PBA.

Ildefonso learned on Friday that the Meralco Bolts decided to relegate him to the dispersal pool, making him easily the biggest name available to newcomers Kia and Blackwater.

Ildefonso is now looking to become a veteran presence and at the same time teach the young big men the ropes of the PBA, which he dominated in the late 90's to early 2000's.

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