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Spurs’ Bonner dribbles way into kids’ hearts in Manila

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Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs shows kids from the Children Garden Home at the Ronac Art Center how to dribble the ball like an NBA player during his visit Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. Bonner is in Manila as part of the NBA Cares organization which has forged a partnership with Sun Life Financial. Video by INQUIRER.net’s Noy Morcoso lll

MANILA, Philippines — He may not be the best ball handler in the NBA, but Matt Bonner’s dribbling tricks were a big hit with the kids Friday at the start of the NBA Cares program here.

Bonner, the first ever San Antonio Spur to visit Manila, shared tips for proper dribbling and taught hand-quickness drills to the eager boys and girls of Children Garden Home at the Ronac Art Center.

The 33-year-old forward, who is known for his sweet touch from the outside, is in the country for the weekend festivities which kicks off the partnership between the NBA and Sun Life Financial.

“NBA Cares is a great organization. I don’t have to tell you how much they’ve done for the community, not only in the US but in the entire world. If I can be a part of that good will, and working with the kids, I really enjoy it,” said the eloquent Bonner.

Bonner got help from Alaska coaches Jojo Lastimosa, players Brandon Cablay and Ervin Sotto, and NBA Asia’s Sefu Bernard, who started the clinic with a fun way to warm up named “earth, sea, land, earthquake, mountain.”

After teaching the kids the proper stance when dribbling the ball, Bonner showcased various tricks aimed at developing better hand speed to the delight of everyone at the venue.

“The kids were great. Very excited and passionate, and they listen,” said Bonner in a Q&A with the media.

Most of the kids from Children Garden were former street kids or rescued children, and Bonner inspired them to keep on improving even if they didn’t have the luxury of a basketball court.

“When I was growing up, I used to go to the basement and do the same dribbling drills to make myself better. Even if you don’t have a basketball hoop, you can be a better basketball player,” he said.


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