One of the worthy Cebuanos who was able to reach the pinnacle of his basketball dream is Donaldo “Dondon” Hontiveros. Born in June 1, 1977 in Cebu City, Hontiveros is currently playing for the Air21 Express in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Dubbed as the “Cebuano Hotshot,” Hontiveros started his interest in basketball at a young age but since he wasn’t tall enough in his freshman year, he didn’t succeed in his tryouts. He was given a chance to play for the basketball team of Don Bosco Technical College after having a growth spurt when he was in third year high school. However, his rookie year was spent mostly on the bench. When he finally became an active member of the team in his senior year, he suffered from an injury.
After playing college basketball at the University of Cebu for three years, Hontiveros joined the newbie league Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) in 1995. He signed with the Cebu Gems and became its team captain. When the 2001 season of the MBA ended, the time when the league’s popularity was slowly diminishing, the Cebuano player requested to be released from his team to try his fate in the PBA.
He signed with Tanduay Rhum Masters, as advised by his relatives and friends, even though he really wanted to play with San Miguel Beermen (now Petron Blaze Boozters). After Tanduay disbanded in 2003, he was able to land on his dream team. He had been a great addition to the Beermen and was one of the reliable players who helped the team win the 17th and 18th championship titles during the 2004-2005 and 2008-2009 Fiesta Conference, respectively.
In his PBA career, he received the Sportsmanship Award during the 2004-05 season and he was part of the PBA Mythical Second Team in the 2008-09 season.
Update: As of August 2011, Hontiveros headed back to the Petron Blaze Boozters.