MANILA, Philippines—Dondon Hontiveros made seven three-pointers but it was his defense late against Rain or Shine last Friday which mattered most.
With the Elasto Painters still within reach and Paul Lee determined to bring his team closer on a drive attempt, it was Hontiveros who came away with a clean block from behind to seal Alaska’s win.
“People keep talking about his threes in the Rain or Shine game, but he also had key defensive blocks against Jeff Chan and Paul Lee in overtime,” Alaska head coach Luigi Trillo said. “Had those been converted then it would still have been a game, with us probably winding up on the short end.”
“I’m just trying to help the team in any way I can. Timing lang na maganda ang shooting ko, but it was a total team effort,” said Hontiveros, the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week (April 1 to 7).
The Aces fell behind by as much as 22 in the third quarter before the 35-year-old swingman unleashed 18 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“When the going gets tough for us he’s going to be inside because I know his positive attitude will rub off on his teammates,” said Trillo.
“He has always been a leader and he always tries to blend in. Our young guys are lucky to have him guide them. I feel fortunate to have him as one of our more vocal players. He’s my extension out there on the court,” Trillo added. “His teammates are looking for him more and that is good for us. He stretches the defense because they must mark him and that opens the interior and driving lanes for our other guys.”