Brownlee entertaining overseas offers before Ginebra return

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Brownlee entertaining overseas offers before Ginebra return

MANILA, Philippines – After his Gilas Pilipinas return, Justin Brownlee will be back in Barangay Ginebra uniform — but not for now.

Brownlee, the Gilas hero in the team’s Asian Games gold medal feat after 61 long years, instead is likely to take his talents in overseas leagues in the meantime, according to Tim Cone, his longtime head coach in the PBA and the national team.

“He is looking at offers and he’ll probably end up playing somewhere for a while,” said Cone in the aftermath of Brownlee’s Gilas return marked by an unbeaten campaign in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

The ongoing PBA Season 48 will be back in action Wednesday, but with the Philippine Cup after starting the conference instead of the import-laden Commissioner’s Cup that was held during the same period of Brownlee’s FIBA suspension.

For Gilas, the team will have a long break before plunging back to action in June to prepare for the Paris Olympic Qualifying Tournament against Latvia and Georgia.

With no tournaments available for Brownlee at home, he’s very much allowed and open to play elsewhere to stay in tip-top shape before reuniting with Ginebra next season and Gilas in a few months.

“There are offers for him to go play overseas since it is All-Filipino. We’re perfectly fine with that. We’re all for him going out, and staying in shape. He’s already locked in for us next season so we’ll see him here,” added Cone on his prized cager since 2016.  

Brownlee, 35, previously played in Mexico, Italy, France and Lebanon before finding his home here with Ginebra for almost a decade now — and later on Gilas much to his delight after a much-awaited comeback.

“I missed it. I missed the fans more than anything. I haven’t played in front of a Philippine home crowd in a while. It feels great. It feels great hearing the cheers and the energy they always bring. The passion is just unbelievable,” said Brownlee, who averaged 21.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in two wins against Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei.

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