San Antonio's Matt Bonner conducts a basketball clinic for street children at the Ronac Art Center in Ortigas. The 6'10" power forward-center is Manila for the NBA Cares and FIT programs. -- Photo by Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBNNews.com
MANILA – San Antonio Spurs’ Matt Bonner arrived in Manila on Friday to attend NBA programs and promote the NBA Global Games Philippines 2013.
The 6’10” center-forward, who is known for his deadly accuracy from the 3-point area, conducted a basketball clinic for street children from the Children’s Garden and the Virlanie Foundation at the Ronac Art Center in Ortigas.
The clinic is part of the NBA Cares and NBA FIT programs set for this weekend.
“Working with the kids, I really enjoyed it… the kids were great, very excited, passionate about the game. [They really] listen,” said Bonner, who was part of the San Antonio Spurs team which won the 2007 NBA championship.
“When it comes to making yourself the best basketball player you could be, having that love and passion for the sport is half the battle.”
Jr. NBA head coach Sefu Bernard and former PBA superstar Jojo Lastimosa of the Alaska Aces were also present to assist Bonner.
Bonner will participate in the NBA Cares basketball clinic at the MOA Arena on Saturday and the NBA FIT Global Games Philippines on Sunday at a venue to be announced later.
The 33-year-old Bonner played for two seasons with the Toronto Raptors before signing up for San Antonio in 2006.
He led the NBA in 3-point percentage during the 2010–11 season by shooting .457% from the field.
Bonner is entering his eighth season with the Spurs.
“[I’m] excited for our sport, and to be able to come here and visit knowing how much this country loves the NBA, loves the sport of basketball,” he said.
Carlo Singson, NBA Asia country manager to the Philippines, said Bonner’s visit is part of their promotions leading to the homestretch of the NBA Global Games Philippines, which will feature a pre-season game between the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers.
The NBA also announced its multi-year promotional partnership with Sun Life Financial.
“Thank you very much to Sun Life for your support to the NBA. We share a commitment to build our community and look for strong partnership for the next few years,” said Singson.
As a partner of the NBA, Sun Life will be involved in the upcoming NBA events in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. It will also be integrated with the NBA Global Games Philippines.
“We welcome this partnership with great excitement and are privileged to host a series of NBA events here in Manila,” said Riza Mantaring, Sun Life President and CEO.
“The NBA’s partnership with Sun Life will allow us to reach a wider group of individuals across Asia Pacific and help strengthen the league’s efforts in the region,” said Francesco Suarez, NBA Asia VP of Business Development and Marketing Partnerships.