Danny Ildefonso's SMB team an inspiration to current Beermen

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 28 2020 05:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The current members of the San Miguel Beer basketball team are unbothered by Danny Ildefonso's claim that their SMB squad -- which dominated the PBA in the late '90s and early 200s -- is superior. 

Ildefonso made the assertion during an episode of "2OT," where the Beermen were asked which San Miguel team would prevail in a "dream match-up" -- Ildefonso's squad, with Danny Seigle and Olsen Racela, or the current team that features June Mar Fajardo, Chris Ross, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, and Alex Cabagnot.

"Ako, sasagutin ko 'yun. Hindi sila mananalo sa amin," Ildefonso was quick to answer. 

When asked about Ildefonso's statement, Ross said: "Did you expect anything less?"

"It's always just fun," Ross said of these kinds of discussions. "I don't take it personal, and I'm sure they don't mean anything personal by it. It's just fun to kinda be mentioned as one of the greater teams to ever play in the PBA."

Santos, too, expected nothing less from Ildefonso and gave the PBA legend his due. The veteran forward noted that Ildefonso's San Miguel team was quite dominant as well, winning five titles from 1999 to 2001.

"Ako, okay lang sa akin talagang hindi kami mananalo sa mga 'yun. Ibigay na namin sa kanila 'yun. Kasi iba pa rin 'yung prime nila, malakas din," he said during another episode of "2OT."

"Kami, isa lang," he added. "Ginagamit namin silang inspirasyon para madaig namin, lampasan namin ang ginawa nilang history sa San Miguel."

Santos and his peers have already made their mark in PBA history, winning five consecutive All-Filipino trophies. They were twice on the brink of a "Grand Slam," before falling short in the season-ending Governors' Cup. 

Having such a remarkable team to measure themselves against continues to inspire the Beermen.

"The stuff that we've done, the franchise has done in that jersey, and just to be able to put on that jersey… Every game day, one of our coaches says a prayer and puts that in his prayer before every game, like, we're so grateful to don the San Miguel jersey," said Ross.

"For us, this current group, for us to have a Perpetual Trophy and be gunning for another one, two straight Perpetual Trophies, that's kinda etching our names in PBA history as one of the greats. It's a dream come true and it's a blessing," he added.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).