Having Brownlee in Gilas program gives SBP 'a lot of comfort'

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Having Brownlee in Gilas program gives SBP 'a lot of comfort'
Justin Brownlee
PBA media bureau

MANILA, Philippines — The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said that they are delighted at the prospect of having another naturalized player in Justin Brownlee, as the bill granting his citizenship plowed through Congress earlier this week.

With the country's hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup looming, SBP President Al Panlilio expressed his excitement to have the long-time Barangay Ginebra import as part of the national team program.

Adding his calibre of play to Gilas, Brownlee will give more options for the coaching staff in picking their roster.

"I guess I have to leave it to the coaches, no? But I think, for sure, we want to use [Justin] in the 6th window in February," Panlilio said during the launch of the World Cup SBP volunteer program on Wednesday.

"We also have the SEA Games tournament in early May. I think we can use him or [Ange] Kouame. Again, depending on the coaches," he added.

The basketball executive said that merely having Brownlee as an option already boosts the Gilas program, knowing that he can always be tapped to help the Nationals in whatever competition.

"Having Justin there gives me a lot of comfort that we have, in a way, a resident import in our country together with Ange," said Panlilio.

"Of course, Clarkson is committed equally, but he has commitments in the NBA [which] limits his times with us. But to just have options and the calibre of Justin makes me sleep at night that we have somebody who we can use," he continued.

In the sixth window of qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas will be facing off against Lebanon and Jordan on February 24 and 27, respectively, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

Currently, though, Brownlee and the rest of Ginebra are looking to make a deep run in the PBA Governor's Cup as they enter the playoffs with a 9-3 record.

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