Justin Brownlee named as Gilas’ naturalized player for the Asian Games

Brownlee is set to lead Gilas Pilipinas in the upcoming Asian Games (SBP photo/Facebook)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Despite getting relegated to the reserve naturalized player role for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, Justin Brownlee will still be getting the spotlight he deserves when he reinforces the Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team in the 19th Asian Games in China this September.

Gilas’ head coach Chot Reyes already made the announcement during the press conference of the World Cup pep rally last July 25, 2023.

Brownlee, who has been practicing with the national team since the Europe training camp started, will not be seeing action in the FIBA World Cup unless the coaching staff will call his number to replace Jordan Clarkson who just committed his participation with Gilas.

Despite the recent turnaround in the Gilas roster, Brownlee is still ready whenever the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) taps him for the future international hoops tourneys.

Brownlee is still the best choice for Gilas as their main naturalized player as Clarkson will likely be out due to his commitment with the Utah Jazz.

Clarkson just signed a three-year $55 million contract with the Jazz and is expected to perform at a high level once the new NBA season kicks off.

In the case of Brownlee, he is still Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s resident import and is also the newest naturalized Filipino athlete in the country.

Brownlee became an official kababayan last January 12, 2023, after almost two months of processing his requirements.

It was a quick action from the Philippine government after the SBP pushed for Brownlee’s naturalization last November 2022 as part of their preparation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Senator Francis Tolentino facilitated the process as the main proponent of House Bill 6224 which was formulated to grant Brownlee Filipino citizenship.

So far, Brownlee is currently paying off the trust that the SBP gave him after leading the national team to several wins in the FIBA Asian qualifiers and their redemption tour at the Southeast Asian Games.