Brownlee wants to be a Filipino

By: Inquirer.net August 12,2018 - 09:18 PM

Justin Brownlee of Ginebra gestures in a game against San Miguel in the Finals. inquirer.net

NOT ONLY does Justin Brownlee wishes to play for Barangay Ginebra forever, he also wants the Philippines to be his permanent home.

Alfrancis Chua, Barangay Ginebra governor and San Miguel Corporation sports director, bared Brownlee’s plans during the Gin Kings’ victory party Sunday at Metrotent Convention Center in Pasig City.

“Brownlee loves the Philippines. He told me many times that he wants to stay in the Philippines after his playing career is over and he wants to be naturalized,” Chua said. “To make the long story short, he loves the Philippines and he wants to stay here for good.”

“He said he can have a house here just like Norman Black or other imports who have fallen in love with the Filipinos and the Philippines.”

Brownlee first introduced himself to Filipinos in the 2016 PBA Governors Cup, where he led Ginebra to its first championship in eight years.

The 30-year-old Brownlee then, gave the Gin Kings two more titles in the 2017 Governors Cup and in the recently-concluded Commissioner’s Cup where he was also named Best Import.

“I’m not gonna say that in public if it’s not true. It is. He wants it,” Chua said. “Boss RSA (Ramon S. Ang) said if he finishes playing, ‘we’ll give you a job right away.’”

There has been public clamor to naturalize the prolific Brownlee and make him available for Gilas Pilipinas.

Chua, however, said Brownlee is not in Gilas’ list.

Chua doesn’t think the 6-foot-4 Brownlee is what Gilas is eyeing for to be one of its naturalized player.

“I think they want someone who is tall so it’s out of the question,” he said. “Brownlee is small, but his heart is bigger than the Philippines.”

“He really wants to be naturalized but not to play. He just wants to be naturalized.”

Brownlee led the Gin Kings to the title in the Commissioner’s Cup, helping his team defeat the powerhouse San Miguel Beer squad led by Cebuano June Mar Fajardo and import Renaldo Balkman.
Ginebra won the best-of-seven series, 4-2.

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