Dondon, Alapag hope to catch coach’s eyes

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Dondon, Alapag hope to catch coach’s eyes


Dondon Hontiveros of San Miguel Beer and Jimmy Alapag of Talk ’N Text are just two of the more prominent players left out in the PowerAde Team Pilipinas training pool.

But with the way they’re playing right now, the two veteran guards probably deserve a second look.

A strong game against the Yeng Guiao-mentored RP team in the All-Star Week this month may make the national coach rethink his options.

Alapag and Hontiveros, who both played for the national team two years back during the FIBA-Asia Olympic qualifier in Tokushima, Japan, head the South All-Star team that will battle the current RP squad.

Both Alapag and Hontiveros have expressed their desire to play anew for the Philippine team.

The 5-foot-9 Alapag, a solid playmaker during his stint with the RP Five in Japan and a consistent contributor in TNT’s title run in the Philippine Cup, even attended the Goodwill Games of the PowerAde Team Pilipinas and the visiting Australian Hoopdreamz.

Guiao said that the possibility of inviting some players to the national team will always be there.

“We always consider that, it’s an option,” Guiao said.

“For now, however, there is no reason to change players from the current 14-man team. I would say that the possibility is high, but the probability is low,” added Guiao.

The only player, so far, that Guiao is seriously considering to be included to the team is former Ateneo stalwart Japeth Aguilar, who will arrive next month after playing for Western Kentucky University in the US NCAA for three seasons.

Guiao, in a recent visit in the US, reportedly had an understanding with Japeth’s father, ex-PBA player Peter Aguilar, to have the young Aguilar included in the RP team.

For Guiao, the Goodwill Games against the tall Australian team provided answers to a lot of questions like the kind of character and commitment from his players. It also tested the system he established since forming the team in early November.

“Maganda ang pinakita ng mga bata during our games against the Australian team,” he said. “Pero maganda din na there should always be a threat sa mga players that somebody wants to take their place in the RP team.”

“Barring injuries, the only reason for us to make a change is if anybody shows that he’s not committed to play for flag and country.”

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