Batang Gilas stars Dave Ildefonso, Juan Gomez de Liaño relishes reunion in the all-cadets Gilas Pilipinas team in the second window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in Bahrain after a five years tandem in the youth level.

/ 27 November 2020

The tandem of Ildefonso and Gomez de Liaño will be seen again in the upcoming FIBA qualifiers as the two are taking tides and rekindling their bond way back when they are participating in the Batang Gilas.

“Juan and I go way back. What really started our friendship was in Batang Gilas when we went to SEABA and FIBA Asia together, and it just flourished into a rivalry through years of playing against each other,” Ildefonso said.

“Dave is my guy and he’s like a brother to me. I’ve seen his growth and improvement throughout the years. We both started out as benchwarmers, which definitely motivated us to focus on getting better each day to achieve our goals,” Gomez de Liaño replied, agreeing to Ildefonso.

We remembered the two stalwarts are ‘bros’ in the hardcourt when the country have attained the gold medal in the 2015 SEABA Under-16 Championship in Cagayan de Oro, and again played side-by-side in the 2015 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship in Jakarta which they finished at fifth place. 

Now, reaching heights from youth level to senior level seems to them an honor and an achievement.

“It’s really a testament of the Batang Gilas program and how it works and how great it is,” said the 6-foot-3 Ildefonso.

“You could tell that there’s a lot of hope and potential for Philippine basketball. Soon enough, we can compete at a high level,” seconded the 6-foot Gomez de Liano.

The two are in gratitude just to be included in the pool and hope that their chemistry will be shown in the upcoming game series. 

“It’s honestly a surreal experience to be a part of the seniors team. When I had my first-ever Gilas stint in Batang Gilas, I never really dreamt of getting into the men’s team because I was happy that I even got into the youth team. If you asked me then if I saw myself getting into the team five years later, I would have said no. So I’m just really thankful to God for this opportunity,” Ildefonso stated. 

“This is a dream come true,” Gomez de Liaño added.