Although now on opposing benches, University of the East head coach Joe Silva has nothing but praise for his former players in the Ateneo Blue Eaglets program and always considers them a family.
“They’re very hardworking, that’s why sky’s the limit for them,” said Silva, who guided brothers Dave and Shaun Ildefonso and Enzo Joson to the UAAP Season 77 juniors crown.
Just last season, the talented mentor and Dave, the younger of the two brothers, celebrated a second juniors title for the Blue Eaglets.
Silva and Ildefonso then, parted ways with the former Blue Eaglets’ coach moved to University of the East while the two-time member of the UAAP juniors Mythical team took his talents to National University.
And in their first matchup, the super rookie strut his stuff, scoring 14 points and a game-high six assists against his former mentor as the Bulldogs dumped the Red Warriors, 88-61, Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.
Silva couldn’t be happier to see his former wards shine in their own right.
“For the three, I know they’ll make it this far. I can see they’re improving. Coach Jamike and Danny Ildefonso are there. I’m sure they’re in good hands.”
For the better part of the season, the Bulldogs, who are currently a game ahead of the Red Warriors at 2-5, banked on Dave’s performance, averaging 17.5 points early in the season while getting help from his brother and the second-year guard Joson.
Having had quite a journey together, Silva treasures the moments they share outside the court.
“Wherever we are, whatever team we are in, we still don’t forget each other. We still communicate from time to time and talk things aside from basketball.”