House bill seeks to naturalize Ginebra import Justin Brownlee

Nelson Beltran - Philstar.com
House bill seeks to naturalize Ginebra import Justin Brownlee
Justin Brownlee reacts during the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals awarding on Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee may get his wish to be a Filipino and possibly don the national colors in future international meets as Party List Rep. Mikee Romero (1Pacman) on Wednesday led three other lawmakers in filing a bill for naturalization of the three-time PBA champion import.

Romero, vice chairman of the House Committee on Sports and owner of the North Port Batang Pier team in the PBA, was joined by Reps. Enrico Pineda, Erico Aristotle Aumentado and Scott Davies Lanete in introducing House Bill No. 8106.

“(Brownlee) has brought enormous pride and joy to the Philippine Basketball Association as well as to all basketball enthusiasts in the country. 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,” the proposed bill stated.

“With a very decorated and illustrious career, he wishes to play for the Philippine national team. He also wants the Philippines to be his permanent home,” the bill added.

“At present, he continues with his efficient sportive activities and is socially active through community service. Justin Donta Brownlee is dependable when it comes to helping Filipinos – a true mark of a Filipino spirit and character,” the bill further stated. “His allegiance in this country is indubitable, his skills and competency in the field of basketball shall truly complement the entire nation.”

For the bill to become a law, it needs to pass both houses of Congress.

A similar bill in the Senate may be sponsored by Sen. Sonny Angara who, as chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, supports a possible pool of naturalized players for the national team.

It would be remembered that Angara pushed in the Senate the nationalization of Marcus Douthit and Andray Blatche while then Rep. Robbie Puno did his part in the House.

Brownlee has already expressed many times his wish to become a Filipino, the latest during one of Ginebra’s celebrations for winning the recent PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The Kings and Brownlee have been three-of-three in PBA Finals in the last six conferences. And he’s set for another tour of duty with Ginebra in the Governors Cup that fires off Friday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.

If he would become a naturalized Filipino, he would be a good option as a naturalized player for the national team.

His bid to become a Filipino is supported by San Miguel Corp. chairman and president Ramon Ang.

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