Dondon Hontiveros' fondest wish before retiring: win elusive all-Filipino title
Dondon Hontiveros has never won an all-Filipino crown in his 16-year career, making the finals four times in the conference. Jaime Campos

DONDON Hontiveros has one fond wish in what could be his final year in the PBA - a Philippine Cup title.

After losing heartbreaking title series two years in a row to San Miguel, the Alaska sniper is hoping and third time’s the charm for the Aces to finally hoist their 15th championship trophy and finally capture the first-ever All-Filipino crown in his 16-year career. 

"Winning the all-Filipino title," the Cebuano hotshot told after Alaska's fans day on Friday when asked what he wishes to accomplish before retiring.

"Mahirap sabihin pero yan ang goal talaga. I played four times sa All-Filipino (finals), hopefully this time pagbigyan talaga," he added.

[See Abueva bulks up to 209 pounds of muscle to prepare for banging in all-Filipino]

The all-Filipino championship seems within reach for the Aces this season with an intact lineup reinforced by rookie Carl Bryan Cruz. But the league veteran knows it won't be an easy task.

Hontiveros, who hinted at retirement last season only to change his mind and sign for another year with the Aces, added Alaska is committed to completing unfinished business after two straight runner-up finishes in the Philippine Cup.

"We'll just try to get better every single game and hopefully pagdating ng playoffs, kami yung cohesive na team," he said. 

The 39-year-old three-time PBA champion guard is also confident that Alaska can end its three-year title drought even after he retires, especially with the young stars ready to step up in the team.

"Oo ngayon nakikita ko na nga. Transition has been there since last year and nakita natin improvement at growth ni RJ (Jazul) at value nya sa team, especially kay Chris (Banchero) nakita natin ano kaya nya ibigay sa team," he said.

"Excited ako sa young guys pero this year, para sa akin get that 15th title."


Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros