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Ildefonso on Ron Jacobs: He's a great motivator, teacher of the game

Danny Ildefonso during his stint with the Meralco Bolts. | File Photo
MANILA,Philippines – Former two-time PBA MVP Danny Ildefonso paid tribute to legendary coach Ron Jacobs, crediting the latter for his long and fruitful professional cage career that lasted for 17 seasons.
 
Ildefonso, who just turned 39 two weeks ago, said Jacobs was a "great motivator and teacher of the game."
 
"Ibang klase siya maghawak ng players. Makikita mo yung pundasyon ng team namin nung nandun Siya hanggang sa mawala na siya," Ildefonso confided to Philstar.com on Christmas Day, shortly upon learning that the 72-year-old Jacobs already passed away since he suffered a stroke on December 22, 2001.
 
Ildefonso, the 1998 Rookie of the Year, said the former national coach served as his second father as he guided him inside and outside the court with his safely advice.
 
"Siya nag-build ng kumpiyansa ko sa laro. In fact, siya kumausap sa akin bago ako magpa-draft sa PBA," recalled the former National University Bulldog, who retired at the end of last season.
 
"Parang second father ko na rin siya dahil lagi niyang paalala sa akin to invest my money well," he added.
 
When Jacobs suffered from stroke that caused him to be bedridden for the next 14 years, Ildefonso said he and his former San Miguel teammate Olsen Racela and coach Jong Uichico would visit the American mentor regularly.
 
"Hindi na Siya nakakapag-salita pero may expression pa Siya ng mukha. Sabi ko nga sa Kant, 'thank you coach', at medyo mangiyak ngiyak pa siya," he said.
 
During Jacobs' capacity as coach and eventually consultant from 1997-2001, the Beermen won five PBA titles and four runner-up finishes.
 
He was originally tapped to coach the 2002 Busan Asian Games-bound national team until he suffered the near fatal stroke. Uichico, his long-time protege, went on to handle the team, which placed fourth after a heartbreaking loss to host South Korea in the semifinals. 

 

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