Rajon Rondo of Boston Celtic
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MANILA — Boston Celtic star guard Rajon Rondo had so much fun during his brief visit in the country that he is already drooling over the prospects of coming back next year.

Rondo put the finishing touches on the refurbished San Juan National High School gymnasium and the threetime NBA All-Star told Doug Bibby, his personal trainer, of his wish to returning.

“It’s likely that we’ll come back next year,” said Bibby, 34, a cousin of NBA player Mike Bibby.

Rondo was here for a short trip after his Red Bull’s King of the Rock Asian leg, and Bibby said they enjoyed every minute of their two-day stay.

“We like it here, where basketball is the No. 1 sport.”

Even Amber Rondo, the cager’s mother, echoed the same sentiment.

“Definitely. We had so much fun being here, and we very much appreciate the warm welcome (of the people).”

The 6-foot-1 Rondo, who won a title with the Celtics back in 2008, conducted a basketball clinic for select players from the NCAA and the UAAP at the Ronac Art Center in San Juan.

The 26-year-old playmaker of the Celtics reiterated the importance of practice.

During the basketball clinic, Rondo expressed the belief that Filipino players are talented, stressing the importance of practice in the quest to become the best.

Rondo and his entourage actually added the Manila trip to their Asian tour following his successful King of the Rock event in Hong Kong and Taiwan to check the quality and popularity of basketball here.

The players who joined Rondo’s clinic included Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena, Letran’ Kevin Louie Alas, Jet Vidal and Earl Thompson of Perpetual Help, Nate Matute of Jose Rizal University and Jonathan Banal of Mapua.

After attending the University of Kentucky, Rondo was selected by the Phoenix Suns as the 21st pick during the 2006 draft, but he was later dealt to Boston.

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He quarterbacked the Celtics’ title run in 2008. He is considered one of
the top point guards in the NBA. (Waylon Galvez, Manila Bulletin)