By Waylon Galvez
Alaska guard Dondon Hontiveros thinks he still has enough gas left in his tank – good enough for him to play one more year.
The veteran Aces gunner signed a one-year extension with the team before the season but is open to negotiations for a final tour of duty.
“Kaya pa naman, so hopefully makapaglaro pa ako after this season,” said Hontiveros yesterday. “Siguro one year, makakapag-contibute pa naman tayo even at this stage.”
Alaska recently paid tribute to the 40-year-old Hontiveros, known by his moniker the Cebuano Hotshot, during a game against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in his home province of Cebu.
The tribute was fitting since Hontiveros is on his 17th season in the pro league.
Hontiveros originally played for Tanduay, the franchise that tabbed him as a direct hire back in 2000 after he initially started his pro career with the now defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).
In 2002, when Tanduay disbanded and the franchise was sold to Air21, Hontiveros was shipped to his favorite team San Miguel Beer.
Hontiveros played for SMB for the next nine years until he was dealt back to Air21. He rejoined Petron Blaze in 2012 but signed on as a free agent with Alaska the following year.
A 13-time PBA All-Star, Hontiveros won three titles in the PBA, two with SMB and one with Alaska.
According to Hontiveros, he is thankful for the initiatives undertaken by Alaska, particularly team owner Wilfred Uytengsu, governor Richard Bachmann and coach Alex Compton, that allowed him to have a home.
“Of course, I’m very grateful with the Alaska franchise, lalo na sa tribute na binigay nila sa akin. Maganda din kasi nandun yung mga dating mga teammates ko with the national team, Jeff Cariaso and Olsen Racela,” said Hontiveros.
“Andun din yung pinaka-unang coach ko sa PBA, coach Alfrancis Chua (now the governor of Ginebra), and yung winningest coach sa PBA – Tim Cone of Ginebra – andun din.”
“So very memorable sa akin, especially sa Cebu ginawa, nakapagpasalamat ako,” added Hontiveros.
However, he insisted that he could still play and contribute to the Aces, or, should Alaska decide not to renew his contract, to another ballclub.
“We’ll see, si boss (his agent) Danny (Espiritu) na ang bahala pagdating dyan,” said Hontiveros, who has career averages of 10.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists through 17 seasons in the PBA.
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