PBA: The timing of the Commissioner’s Cup is not ideal for the former SMB import while, PBA Rookie Draft will feature Dave Ildefonso

Jul 3, 2024

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Chris McCullough is always eager to return to the PBA and play for San Miguel.
Unfortunately, the long-awaited reunion is once again derailed by unfortunate timing.

The former NBA star won’t be able to participate in the PBA until the Commissioner’s Cup in the middle of the season, when there is no height restriction set by the league.

Sadly, McCullough might already be playing somewhere else when the Beermen call him up, meaning there would be a lengthy waiting period.

For the first time in five years, the former San Miguel import is returning home to play with Strong Group Athletics, who will be competing for the upcoming Jones Cup.

When he last visited this place in 2019, he had just won the Commissioner’s Cup, leading San Miguel to victory over the heavily favored TNT Tropang Giga, who included Terrence Jones, another legendary player from the NBA.

McCullough had repeatedly shown interest in returning and wearing the San Miguel uniform once more.

However, the immigrant would always find himself locked up with another Asian club team when the Beermen would call, so he was not available every time the necessity came.

Nevertheless, one of his first actions upon his return to this place last month was to get back in touch with his old crew.

SMB Get-together

McCullough witnessed even the Beermen’s 94-87 loss in Game 1 of the Philippine Cup Finals.

“I saw everybody (Beermen). Everybody was excited to see me. I was excited to be back in the arena and see old faces. I was just happy to be back,” McCullough noted.

The import dismissed the Beermen’s six-game loss to the Meralco Bolts.

In the event that an offer were made, McCullough stated he would also be open to playing for other PBA teams.

Once more, if there is still time, another PBA team could hire him.

Meanwhile, there will be a Dave Ildefonso in the PBA draft.

Ildefonso himself verified the news during Strong Group Athletics’ media day, indicating a potential Top 3 selection for the next draft.

After playing professional ball in Korea, Ildefonso has yet to submit his application but has already made the decision to add his name to the PBA Rookie Draft pool.

Ildefonso said that his choice to register for the draft was influenced by the lack of offers he received after his lone season in the Korean professional league with Suwon KT Sonicboom.

He and his older brother Shaun, who plays for Rain or Shine, are expected to reconnect in the professional league as rivals and even comrades.

Danny Ildefonso, Dave’s father, is an assistant coach at Converge, the team with the first pick in the upcoming draft, and a two-time MVP.

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