No hesitation for Gilas naturalization candidate Boatwright

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
No hesitation for Gilas naturalization candidate Boatwright
Bennie Boatwright (right) hugging former teammate CJ Perez
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- “It was a no-brainer.”

Former San Miguel Beermen import Bennie Boatwright stressed that the decision to agree to undergo the naturalization process for Gilas Pilipinas was “a no-brainer.”

The big man, who earlier served as the import of the reigning PBA Commissioner’s Cup champions San Miguel Beermen, said that he immediately considered the proposal of being a naturalized player once he was approached by San Miguel Corp. sports director Alfrancis Chua.

“I would say, first of all, living here, you know, experiencing the culture, experiencing everything, and my teammates, coaches [were the factors I considered],” he told reporters.

“So, it was a no-brainer,” he added.

The sweet-shooting big man bared that he was approached by Chua after San Miguel swept Barangay Ginebra in last conference’s semifinals.

“A couple of players mentioned it to me and coaches were like asking me if I’m open to it. After we played Ginebra, after that series, Boss Al asked me if I was open to it and I said for sure. And that’s where it started,” he said.

The process has already started on Thursday, Boatwright revealed.

Meanwhile, the 6-foot-10 forward also voiced excitement on the possibility of playing under Gilas head coach Tim Cone.

“It was tough playing against Coach Tim-coached team in the playoffs, so I’m excited to go and be under his system,” the American said.

He was in attendance when his former team demolished the Converge FiberXers, 112-103, on Friday at the Philsports Arena.

He lauded his former team, saying it “feels good” coming back to the Philippines.

“It’s all love. It feels good being back with all the guys.”

While Boatwright will undergo the naturalization process, Cone earlier underscored that Justin Brownlee will continue to be the team’s main naturalized player.

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