DONDON Hontiveros assured he is prepared for the long haul in his Asean Basketball League (ABL) debut after setting retirement aside to play for Alab Pilipinas.
Hontiveros said he made sure that he is in shape before signing up for Alab Pilipinas, almost two months after the end of Alaska’s campaign in the PBA this season.
The former Alaska star also said having Chappy Callanta as trainer for the team will also be a big help for him as he grinds out a six-month long ABL season.
“Hindi naman ako nag-sign agad,” said the 40-year-old Hontiveros. “In good faith, I showed to them na I can still play. Sila din, maganda sila kausap. We have a good trainer in Chappy Callanta na may experience na mapahaba pa ‘yung career ko.”
As he returns for another tour of duty in a different league, Hontiveros said he is ready to share his experience with his teammates.
“’Yun ‘yung una kong sinabi na ‘yung experience that I have, maishe-share ‘yung knowledge sa mga younger guys,” said Hontiveros.
The Cebuano hotshot will also be playing under his contemporary and rookie ABL coach Jimmy Alapag, confident his former Gilas Pilipinas teammate has what it takes to be a great mentor.
“I think he will be a very good coach. Nakita ko na ‘yung leadership niya. I’ve been impressed with Jimmy sa more than a week na may practice. Magaling siya mag-motivate sa mga players. I’m really excited,” said Hontiveros.
While he is willing to take on the leadership role for the team, Hontiveros believes reigning MVP Ray Parks has all the qualities of a good leader for an Alab Pilipinas squad that has gained more experience this season.
“If I have to, I will do it. Pero nakita ko kay Bobby Ray Parks that he is a natural leader. He is very vocal and he has experience. I’m excited to play with him also,” said Hontiveros.