FOR Dondon Hontiveros, winning the PBA Philippine Cup alone, and not revenge over San Miguel Beer, will be his prime motivation in Game Seven on Wednesday.
While it could come at the expense of his former team, the Alaska gunner is just relishing the opportunity to capture his first all-Filipino title, the most coveted piece of silverware in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league that has eluded him for the past 15 years of his career.
“Hindi ko iniisip na sweeter (kasi against the Beermen), pero if it’s your first all-Filipino, that would be much sweeter,” said the Cebuano hotshot, who has already won three championships, two with San Miguel and one with Alaska, but all in import-laden conferences.
Hontiveros, who played for San Miguel for almost a decade, before he was surprisingly traded in 2011 to Air21, has said since before the best-of-seven series started that he has nothing to prove against the Beermen.
But now, he has a chance to nail the elusive championship against the team that dealt him as the Aces forced a deciding winner-take-all match following an 87-76 victory in Game Six Sunday.
Hontiveros sparked the come-from-behind win, pumping in 10 of his team-high 18 points in the second quarter, where the Aces rallied from a double-digit deficit to turn the game around.
“We have a chance to make it special,” he said. “I’m just excited.”
“If ma-execute lang namin yun adjustment na ginawa namin, malaking chance for me to get that first one (all-Filipino),” he added. “We’ll just give it our best.”