MAKING his debut with Alab Pilipinas on Wednesday night, Justin Brownlee added a new chapter to his blossoming love affair with Filipino fans.
The 29-year old gunner joked there's just one thing he needs to do here.
“We need to talk to Gilas and tell them to sign me up for the national team,” Brownlee, in his fourth tour of duty with the country and second outside Ginebra, said while sharing a laugh with several reporters.
Brownlee, who won two championships with Ginebra in the PBA and also previously played for Mighty Sports, has forged a deep bond with fans in what he calls the ‘best place I've ever played in.’
“I love it here man. It’s the greatest place I’ve played in in the world. I just love it here and the fans are great,” Brownlee said. “They love me and I love them back. Whenever I have the opportunity to play, I’ll definitely try to see and take that opportunity.”
Brownlee showed why he’s one of the most beloved foreign players in the country as he filled the stats sheet with 29 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks in Alab's 90-79 win over Westports Malaysia Dragons on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Making it even more impressive was the fact that he battled jetlag the entire time.
“I got to admit, it’s a little difficult. Just being jetlagged and coming in, playing with these guys without any practice but the guys made it easy for me and (Renaldo) Balkman. They were very vocal, talking with us and it made our job easier on the court,” Brownlee said.
Although playing with a different team, Brownlee will always be identified with Ginebra.
Near the end of the third period after hitting back-to-back threes, Brownlee heard that all-too familiar Ginebra chant from the crowd at the San Juan Arena.
“That was very special. I know I’m here in Alab, this is a great team, a great organization and a great company and everything and have great sponsors, it’s always gonna feel great to hear that chant no matter where I am.”