THE controversy took place almost eight years ago that Alaska veteran Dondon Hontiveros admitted he has long forgotten about the ‘elbowing incident’ between him and Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
Hontiveros believes everything is now okay between him and Guiao, who he said casually greets him every time they meet outside of the playing court.
“Pag sa labas nagbabatian naman kami. Mabait naman si coach Yeng e,” said a smiling Hontiveros when asked by Spin.ph about the matter.
The two have come face-to-face again in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup semifinals between the Aces and the Elasto Painters and nothing has taken place so far that would remind everybody of the sideline collision between Hontiveros and Guiao that occurred in Game Six of the 2007 Philippine Cup semifinals between San Miguel and Red Bull.
Then the coach of Red Bull, Guiao appeared to have elbowed Hontiveros, still with the Beermen back then, as the shooting guard out of the University of Cebu passed by the Red Bull bench while on his way back to the other side of the court.
To Guiao’s credit, Hontiveros said the fiery coach’s gung-ho style inside the court could only be his way of motivating his players.
“Siguro style niya lang talaga yung ganun. During the game and sa loob ng court, ganun siya to bring the best out of his players,” said the 37-year-old shooting guard.
“Nakita naman natin kung ano ang ginawa niya sa Red Bull and later, Rain or Shine. Kaya I admired coach Yeng especially hindi pa ako na under sa kanya.”
Here's a video of that incident:
Although they are now okay, Hontiveros remained a thorn in the side of Guiao as he helped push Rain or Shine to the brink of yet another all-Filipino letdown following the Aces’ 93-88 come-from-behind win in Game Five of the semis before the league took a week-long break for the holidays.
Hontiveros sizzled for the Aces with 11 points, including eight in the third period when Alaska went on a searing run from which the Elasto Painters never recovered.
But the Cebuano guard hurt his right heel early in the fourth quarter and had to be taken out for good with 7:20 left in the game and Alaska already in firm control.
“Biglang sumakit `yung heel ko pag-push ko,” he said. “Buti na lang may break at naipahinga.”
Alaska leads the best-of-seven series, 3-2, with Game Six set on Sunday.
Hontiveros encourages the Aces to adopt nothing less than an assassin’s mindset and a killer’s instinct once they enter the playing court of the Mall of Asia Arena for Game Six.
He said it would be foolish for the Aces to play without urgency in the 5 p.m. game.
So it should be an all or nothing attitude for them, said Hontiveros.
“Ang isip dapat namin yun na (Game Six) ang last game (ng semis),” said the Alaska shooting guard.
“If you’re thinking kasi na okay lang matalo kasi may Game Seven pa, parang hindi magandang mindset yun. Dapat talaga ang isipin namin last game na ito.”