4. Danny Ildefonso
As his career winds down, people will remember Danny Ildefonso as the last great Filipino homegrown center. These days, 6-foot-5 basketball players who possess the same kind of talent don’t want to go down into the block and man the slot anymore; case in point, Kerby Raymundo, who came into the PBA just two years after Ildefonso and possessed many of the same skills, but shied away from playing the center spot for most of his career.
Of course, people would also remember Danny I as the anchor of the shortlived San Miguel Beer dynasty in the early 2000s, which allowed him to win back-to-back MVPs while carrying the torch for homegrown big men in light of the Fil-Am invasion.
Centers like Danny Ildefonso didn’t come along all that often in the PBA’s earlier years. Now, we’ll probably never see anyone like him again — which is why it’s always a treat to see Danny I still ticking after all these years, after all those injuries.
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