Matt Bonner says he'll root for Gilas in FIBA World Cup
Alder Almo (The Philippine Star) - September 6, 2013 - 5:05pm

MANILA, Philippines – Matt Bonner has finally experienced what he’s only heard before.

The heavy rains pouring in outside did not stop the San Antonio Spurs’ sweet-shooting big man to experience the warm welcome of the kids from Virlanie Foundation and Children’s Garden and members of the local media inside the Ronac Art Center in Ortigas.

“To be finally here and see people wearing NBA team gear, see NBA stickers on the jeepneys and just to see how it’s part of your culture is awesome,” Bonner said. “I’m excited to be finally here after hearing how much this country loves the NBA and their passion for basketball.”

Bonner also congratulated the Gilas Pilipinas for making it to the FIBA World Cup and said he’s going to cheer for them.  

“I think it’s great for the Philippines to qualify for the FIBA World Championships.  I know it will create a lot of excitement to our sport,” Bonner said. “I’d be definitely cheering for your team.”

The 10-year NBA veteran, who led the league in three-point field goal percentage (.457%) in 2011, shared his secret to his marksmanship.

“The secret to why I’m one of the best shooters in the NBA is repetition and hard work. I’ve been working out my shot my whole life, hundreds of thousands [of shots]. I actually try to calculate how many shots I’ve made in practice and it’s probably up there in a million,” Bonner said.  

The 6-10 sweet-shooting big man also learned from Spurs’ shooting coach Chip Engelland, who represented the country in the mid-80’s with the Northen Consolidated Cement of legendary coach Ron Jacobs.

Bonner, however, was not aware but got curious when Philstar.com/NBA Philippines told him about that.  

“I can’t wait to get back and ask him about his experience here,” Bonner said. “That’s awesome. That’s good information.”

“He’s helped from time to time. He’s smart in the sense that if you’re already a good shooter, he’s not going to do anything to mess it up. He helped me widen my stance to give me more balance in my shot. That was probably the best tweak he made in my shot since I arrived in the Spurs,” Bonner said. “And it helped me a lot.”

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes earlier said that he’s been trying to get Engelland’s services in the past two years but his hectic NBA schedule would not allow him to do it. 

BONNER CHIP ENGELLAND CHOT REYES GILAS PILIPINAS MATT BONNER NBA NORTHEN CONSOLIDATED CEMENT RON JACOBS RONAC ART CENTER SAN ANTONIO SPURS
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