DONDON Hontiveros turned back the hands of time, burning Rain or Shine with six of his conference-high seven three-pointers in the second half to lead Alaska to an 89-84 come-from-behind overtime win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup match on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 35-year-old Hontiveros, who went into the game averaging just 5.6 points in the mid-season conference, poured in 18 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and extra time that enabled the Aces to complete a fightback from a 22-point second-half deficit.
“Dondon was huge. He’s like our Ray Allen. We won’t go this far if not for guys like Dondon. That’s vintage Dondon,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo after his team seized the solo lead with its ninth victory in 12 starts.
The victory also marked the second time in the tournament that the Aces broke Rain or Shine's heart. The Aces won the two teams' first meeting, 83-81, last February 9 on Cyrus Baguio's last-gasp basket.
This time, the Aces stormed back from an imposing 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter as Hontiveros scored six of his seven three-pointers in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“We want to prove we can beat this team. They are solid and like I said, it’s important for us to get the ninth win. And we just put ourselves in a better situation. I told the boys it’s not how you start, but it’s how you end,” added the 37-year-old Alaska mentor.
On the other hand, the loss halted the Elasto Painters’ three-game winning streak while pushing them down to second spot with their 8-4 record.
Rain or Shine, which drew 23 points and 13 rebounds from import Bruno Sundov, slipped to second place with an 8-4 mark at the end of a three-game losing streak.
The Painters led for most of the game despite shooting just 2-of-25 from beyond the three-point arc. They went just 1-of-18 from that range in the second half with Jeff Chan going just 1-of-7 and Paul Lee going 0-of-6.
Chan also missed an open three-pointer at the end of regulation that could've won the game for the Painters.
Robert Dozier led Alaska with 23 points and eight boards before fouling out in overtime while trying to contain Sundov.
Alaska 89 - Dozier 23, Hontiveros 22, Baguio 12, Casio 9, Abueva 8, Espinas 6, Reyes 4, Jazul 3, Belasco 2, Eman 0, Thoss 0, Dela Cruz 0
Rain or Shine 84 - Sundov 23, Lee 12, Norwood 12, Chan 12, Belga 6, Tang 4, Quinahan 4, Ibanes 4, Arana 3, Tiu 2, Cruz 1, Matias 1, Rodriguez 0
Quarter scores: 11-20, 27-44, 47-64, 79-79, 89-84