Apr 02, 2021

Call him 'Coach Dondon'

THE transition finally began for retired PBA player Dondon Hontiveros.

The 43-year-old shooting guard from Cebu has joined the Phoenix Super LPG coaching staff and began working with the team prior to the stoppage of team workouts with the return of the National Capital Region and adjoining provinces to an Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Hontiveros, who capped his stint in Asia's pioneering pro league in 2015 with Alaska, was tapped to be a shooting consultant for the Fuel Masters, but is part of the team of deputies under head coach Topex Robinson.

"He's to focus on skills development and of course, shooting," said team manager Paolo Bugia.

The three-time PBA champion worked with the team for almost two weeks before returning to Cebu shortly after the lockdown imposition.
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"He was not able to stay for a long period, but nakapag-practice na siya," said Bugia, adding Hontiveros' initial assignment was working on the small group that included top gunner Matthew Wright and new acquisition Chris Banchero.

Hontiveros was fresh off retirement when Wright came in the league in 2016, although he did get to play with Banchero during their time together at Alaska.

He's expected to work for a longer period of time with the Fuel Masters once cluster groups are allowed to resume practices.

"If may opportunity, maybe after this ECQ. Next cycle kung makapag-test siya and he comes back, maybe sa kabilang grupo naman siya puwedeng iikot," Bugia added.

Despite going back and forth from Cebu to Manila, Hontiveros is religiously doing his part as Phoenix assistant coach.
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"He's been active in our zoom meetings and coaches meetings especially during drafting and yung mga ganung discussions. Active siya sa zoom," said Bugia.

In his prime, Hontiveros was considered one among the league's deadly outside gunners, who ranks no. 4 in the all-time three-point field goals made with a total of 1,002.

He was a former Three-Point shootout champion (2007), and Mythical Second Team member, recipient of the Samboy Lim Sportsman award, and a 13-time All-Star.

Aside from Alaska, Hontiveros also had stops at Tanduay, San Miguel, and Air21 in a 15-year pro career.

He's currently a councilor in the second district of Cebu City. (RG)