Wearing his famous big smile and welcoming demeanor, Dondon Hontiveros was in his hometown of Cebu over the weekend, where he made time to meet with some of his beloved fans.
For many years, Cebu was the training ground for the “Cebuano Hotshot”, making priceless memories that he carries wherever he goes. When PlayPH sat down with Hontiveros in Cebu, the three-time champ shared some childhood stories and how the courts of Cebu helped him develop a love for the game.
He also recalled his years spent in high school, and that his skill at that time didn’t meet the varsity team’s standards the firs time around. But with a hardworking attitude, and an environment filled with mentors, he managed to appear on the team’s roster.
When the time for college came, Hontiveros, equipped with skill and heart, would further develop into a three-point shooting machine – this gave him the nickname “Cebuano Hotshot”. After three years, Hontiveros was recruited by the Cebu Gems, the MBA’s premiere team at the time.
As a proud Cebuano, Hontiveros says thank you to the city that helped shape him into one of the best players.
In between were short stories about his favorite places like his go-to ihaw spot, and local courts where he was challenged by bigger, more experience players, all of which contributed to making Hontiveros the man he is today.
When all is said and done, though, it’s the people of Cebu that Dondon is the most thankful for. “It’s the energy I get when I go back home,” says Hontiveros. “When I see familiar faces and places, I show my appreciation with a smile and you receive back that positive energy.”
With a love for his supporters that goes without saying, Dondon is always willing to stop for a quick picture or conversation with fans. It’s as sincere and genuine as it can be, and that’s wonderful for basketball veterans like Hontiveros, leaving little doubt as to why this hoops star has all of Cebu at his back.