Apr 02, 2024

SBP sees SMB import Boatwright solid choice for naturalization

SAN Miguel import Bennie Boatwright is now eyed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) as the next possible naturalized player for the Gilas Pilipinas men's team.

The country's governing body for basketball bared it already initiated talks with the former USC Trojan, who guided the Beermen to the championship of the recent PBA Commissioner's Cup.

At 27 and having developed a strong connection with the Philippines following his stint with the SMC franchise, the SBP considers Boatwright a solid choice for naturalization.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone disclosed about asking Boatwright of the possibility of becoming a naturalized player for the national men's team as back up to Justin Brownlee.

"I think he's a tremendous talent. He's got great size and he can play in and out. He's very versatile. It kind of reminds me of a young Justin, just like three or four inches taller," said Cone of the same import which led San Miguel to a three-game sweep of Barangay Ginebra in the semifinals of the import-spiced conference.

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At the moment, Boatwright is playing in China, but is willing to return to the country the soonest possible time.

If ever, he will be the latest player to be included in the Gilas pool of naturalized players that already has the likes of Brownlee, Ange Kouame, and NBA star Jordan Clarkson.

But Brownlee remains as Gilas' naturalized player for the coming qualifying tournament for the Paris Olympics in Latvia, Georgia this July, according to Cone. (RG)