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former Magnolia player helped Bennie Boatwright

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This former Magnolia player helped Boatwright decide to play in the PBA

SAN It looks like Miguel Beer hit the jackpot when he hired Bennie Boatwright in the middle of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup. Since then, the Beermen have won 11 straight games, and more importantly, they are now just one win away from the title.

But SMB’s luck would not have been possible without the help of a former Magnolia transfer who told Boatwright the truth about the team that was interested in him. 

While Bennie Boatwright was playing in Mexico, San Miguel called him and asked if he would be ready to fill in for Ivan Aska. Boatwright talked to Nick Rakocevic about the PBA. He used to play with Rakocevic at the University of South California (USC). 

Rakocevic played for Magnolia in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup last year. His team, the Hotshots, made it to the quarterfinals before losing to Barangay Ginebra.

“I was playing in Mexico, and our season was about to be over when I got the call,” said the 27-year-old Boatwright, referring to San Miguel.

“The first person I called was Nick Rakocevic. He played with Magnolia last year. He played here, so I got his opinion on everything and just came out here,” he added.

What did Rakocevic say?

“Nick said I would love it out here. City of Manila, the PBA, and everything that comes with it. I was excited to see it myself,” said Boatwright.

However, Bennie Boatwright only needed a little persuading. He knew some basic facts about the past of the PBA and even about how the San Miguel championship works.

“Everybody has told me about it. I heard about Ginebra, San Miguel, big fella (June Mar Fajardo) has won like 20 MVPs, I know it all. I know the history,” said Boatwright.

The only question was whether he was short enough to meet the PBA Commissioner’s Cup height requirements of 6 feet 9 inches or less. Bennie Boatwright said he used a carpenter’s measuring tape to be sure he was below 6 feet 10 inches tall. He also used a book to make the wall level for his head.

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