SAN Miguel Alab Pilipinas is in no rush to bring Justin Brownlee on board for the new season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) despite a rule change allowing teams to put three World imports in their lineup.
The ABL dropped the Asean Heritage imports option and now allows teams to bring in as many as three world imports, meaning players born outside the countries represented in the regional league.
However, Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag said they are sticking with Renaldo Balkman and PJ Ramos - for now.
“Right now, we are staying with Balk and PJ,” Alapag said after Tuesday’s press conference launching the ninth season of the league. “I know a lot of people have asked about Justin but you guys know, I’m expecting (him to have) another deep run with Ginebra.”
With Balkman as partner, Brownlee helped Alab Pilipinas win its first-ever ABL crown in the 2017-2018 season after beating Mono Vampire Basketball Club in five games in the championship series.
Brownlee is currently leading Barangay Ginebra's quest for a hat-trick of PBA Governors’ Cup championships, one conference after leading the Kings to the Commissioner’s Cup title.
Alapag said he doesn’t want to talk to Brownlee about a possible stint with Alab, adding he wants the Ginebra import to be completely focused on the task at hand.
Alapag added there is no roster spot available for Brownlee, at the moment.
“I don’t want to even bother him with that. I think it would be bad on my part as a coach to try to ask Justin if he’s going to play with us after the PBA season," said the former Gilas Pilipinas skipper.
"He is just coming off a championship last conference. Again, I’m anticipating that he will have a deep run this conference so I don’t want to add that to his responsibility. I want to let him be Justin for Ginebra and then we will see what happens.”