May 24, 2024

SBP initiates Gilas naturalization discussion with San Miguel's Bennie Boatwright

SBP initiates Gilas naturalization discussion with San Miguel
Bennie Boatwright won the PBA Commissioner's Cup title with the San MIguel Beermen. Photo: Sherwin Vardeleon
Gilas Pilipinas is officially going after the services of San Miguel champion import Bennie Boatwright.


The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced that it’s in talks with Boatwright for the possibility of playing for the national team in international competitions as a naturalized player.


In the announcement, the SBP says that maintaining a pool of naturalized players gives Gilas Pilipinas “options for specific tournaments.”


The pool also allows Gilas to have a player on duty in case of unforeseen circumstances like injuries and schedule conflicts.


Currently, Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized players are Justin Brownlee, Jordan Clarkson, and Ange Kouame.


Brownlee just recently signed to play in the Indonesian Basketball League, while Kouame is playing club basketball in France. Clarkson is wrapping up his NBA season with the Utah Jazz.


[Related: Tim Cone clarifies that Justin Brownlee is "our guy" for Gilas and Bennie Boatwright is his "back up”]


Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone welcomes the idea of adding Boatwright.


“I think he's a tremendous talent. He's got great size and he can play in and out. He's very versatile,” he said.