PBA: Phoenix counting on Hontiveros to help expand Vic Manuel's game

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 25 2021 05:13 PM

PBA: Phoenix counting on Hontiveros to help expand Vic Manuel's game 1
Former PBA player Dondon Hontiveros is now part of the Phoenix Super LPG coaching staff. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA, Philippines -- At 33 years old, Vic Manuel is still looking to expand his skill set.

The "Muscle Man" told Phoenix Super LPG coach Topex Robinson that he wants to "explore other facets of his game" with his new team, having been traded to the Fuel Masters after seven seasons with the Alaska Aces.

"He wants to pretty much try shooting outside shots," Robinson said of Manuel, who did not attempt a single three-pointer in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.

"It's a challenge, and I want him to enjoy this," he added.

The good news for Manuel is that Phoenix Super LPG has one of the best three-point shooters in PBA history in their coaching staff in Dondon Hontiveros. 

According to Robinson, Hontiveros has been part of their coaching staff since the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, but could not come with them to the "bubble" due in part to his responsibilities in Cebu City where he serves as a council member.

But once Hontiveros is able to fly back to Manila, Robinson hopes the retired All-Star can help Manuel in his quest to become a "stretch 4." 

"Noong winelcome namin si Vic sa team, Dondon told him na, tuturuan na siya ng bagong moves, kasi sabi ko nga, gusto na ni Vic tumira na ng tres," said Robinson. "So (there's no) better way, si Dondon magtuturo sa kanya."

"I mean, nobody could discount a Dondon Hontiveros," he added. 

Robinson is also looking forward to seeing Hontiveros work with Phoenix ace Matthew Wright.

Wright has already established himself as one of the deadliest shooters in the league. Last conference, he shot 39.4% from long range while attempting 8.4 three-pointers per game, the most in the league. In Hontiveros, he can gain pointers from a player who made 1,133 in his entire career, fifth most in PBA history.

"We have one of the best shooters in the PBA now in Matthew Wright, and nobody could question Dondon Hontiveros," said the coach. "We're happy that he's offering his services for us, and we're excited to have him."

"Ang laking bagay sa amin to have Dondon."

Hontiveros retired from the PBA in 2017 and had a brief stint for Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League. He was a three-time PBA champion and a 13-time All-Star in his career that spanned nearly two decades.

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