THREE-time PBA MVP Justin Brownlee of Barangay Ginebra is determined to do his share in the success of the Philippines in the international basketball scene.
And despite missing the opportunity to represent Gilas Pilipinas in the 2023 FIBA World Cup next month, Brownlee will get his chance to shine in the 19th Asian Games scheduled Sept. 23-Oct. 8 in Hangzhou, China.
The 35-year-old Ginebra resident import is tasked to improve the Filipinos’ fifth-place finish in the Jakarta Asian Games in 2018 behind China, Iran, South Korea and Chinese-Taipei Clarkson was Gilas’ naturalized player at that time
Last Tuesday, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) formally named NBA star Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz as the country’s naturalized player in the World Cup on Aug. 25-Sept. 10.
Brownlee, on the other hand, will be the country’s go-to-guy in the Asiad.
The popular American-Filipino, who earned his naturalization papers last January and joined the Gilas Pilipinas buildup as soon as his number was called, is ready for the new challenge.
The SBP, headed by Al Panlilio, and Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes, lauded Brownlee’s dedication and commitment during the extensive training camp in the last five weeks.
Panlilio said Gilas Pilipinas can still count on Brownlee in the Asiad, especially against fellow Worlď Cup campaigners China and Japan.
The 6-6 Brownlee, who led Ginebra to six PBA titles from 2016-2022, was a vital cog for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA sixth qualifying window Brownlee was impresive in the two games he played for the national team, averaging 29 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. He even exploded for 41 points in the Filipinos narrow 90-91 defeat to Jordan.
He also made significant contributions during the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, where he played a crucial role in helping the Filipinos reclaim the gold medal in the men’s 5-on-5 basketball event.
Brownlee scored 23 points in the championship game against a formidable Cambodian team.