FORMER Gilas Pilipinas mainstay Dondon Hontiveros will be joining the Alab Pilipinas, looking to lend the Asean Basketball League squad some much-needed veteran leadership and perimeter marksmanship.
Hontiveros spoke to SPIN.ph late Monday night, hours before he was to be announced as the newest addition to the rejigged Alab Pilipinas squad, and admitted thinking about playing for the team right after his final game with the Alaska Aces in the PBA.
“I was really thinking of Alab (Pilipinas) right after my last game with Alaska. I immediately told my agent about it,” shared the decorated shooter from Cebu.
“When I talked to Charlie (Dy) and Jimmy (Alapag), they made me feel like I can really help the team. In a way that got me excited. I think any person, if given the chance to make a difference, however small it may be, it would really be something worth doing,” added the 40-year-old guard.
The Cebuano sniper said he heels he has plenty left in his tank despite the Aces not tendering an offer for a contract extension at the end of the season.
Whispers were aplenty about Hontiveros possibly joining another PBA team. However, none has materialized yet, said the University of Cebu product.
“There were no offers though it’s really nice to get texts from players or hear some coaches from other teams say that I can help them if I could play with them. But as far as I know, the managements of each of the teams will make decisions after the draft,” related Hontiveros.
Hontiveros also expressed excitement with playing in a format that he debuted and eventually flourished in. The 6-foot-2 cager started his career with the Cebu Gems in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA), an inter-regional professional basketball league back in the late 90s that used the same home-and-away format.
“I started with a home-and-away format as an unknown player from Cebu. And to be able to show our appreciation to our kababayans who requested that we play games on weekends is just perfect. I have the chance to bring my family too on weekends where we play as the visiting team,” said Hontiveros, the excitement palpable in his voice.