SBP set to kick off naturalization process on Bennie Boatwright

Bennie Boatwright will be the next naturalized player of Gilas Pilipinas (PBA via mb.com.ph)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is ready to solidify the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team roster in the upcoming international events after confirming that they will be naturalizing Bennie Boatwright in the following weeks.

Boatwright, a six-foot-ten behemoth who can carry and score the leather like a guard, recently led the San Miguel Beermen to a championship title during the last PBA Commissioner’s Cup conference.

The stretch big man was phenomenal during his campaign with the Beermen and quickly turned heads in his PBA debut, averaging 30.31 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 3.46 assists per game.

Despite playing as a first-timer in the import-laced conference, Boatwright was unstoppable during their grand finals series against the Magnolia Hotshots Chicken Timplados and steered the Beermen to a title.

Savvy, crafty, and always calm under pressure, Boatwright displayed a unique skill set at his size, scoring easily against the tight defensive coverages given to him by all the PBA teams he encountered.

Perhaps the ultimate weapon that will make him a great fit for Gilas is his ability to knock down shots from the outside. He can also post up players in the interior and swing the rock out if under double-team situations.

Boatwright is only 27 years old, a perfect reinforcement to the national team and is currently looking for youth that can complement Justin Brownlee’s game on the international stage.

According to the SBP, Boatwright will not be replacing Brownlee, the current naturalized import of the national team. He will be playing as a secondary backup to the Ginebra star and will have the luxury to play alongside him depending on the rules of the event that they will be participating.

Boatwright is still in China and is playing for the Shanxi Loongs, a professional hoops club joining the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).

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