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    Brownlee wants to be naturalized - and he has SMC bosses' backing

    Aug 12, 2018
    PHOTO: Justin Brownlee

    DON'T be surprised if Justin Brownlee owns a Philippine passport soon.

    The much-beloved Ginebra import said that the possibility of him being naturalized has crossed his mind and that he is seriously considering it.

    "Yeah, I wish," he quipped during the Ginebra fans' day at Metrotent Convention Center in Pasig on Sunday afternoon.

    "Not only basketball, I wanna consider (the Philippines) my home. Period. I love it here. You know, I wish I could live here all year round, but unfortunately because of government rules and things like that (I can't). But I wish I could be at home permanently."

    Even Gin Kings governor Alfrancis Chua said he will support Brownlee if the versatile reinforcement wants to progress with the process of naturalization.

    "Brownlee loves the Philippines. He told me many times na kung matapos siya ng paglalaro, he wants to stay in the Philippines and he wants to be naturalized," he said. "To make the long story short, he loves the Philippines and he wants to stay here for good."

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      Chua said that Brownlee has repeatedly stated his intention to him and San Miguel Corp. (SMC) head honcho Ramon S. Ang. He assured the SMC group will be fully behind the former St. John standout if and when that time comes.

      "He wants it. Kaya sabi ni boss RSA, kung tapos ka na maglaro, we'll give you a job right away," he said.

      "Sinasabi niya pwede siyang magka-bahay dito, parang Norman Black o ibang import dito na napamahal sa Pilipino at sa Pilipinas."

      However, Chua acknowledged the chances of Brownlee playing for Gilas is dim since at 6-foot-5, the resident Ginebra import may not fit the bill for naturalized players being eyed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

      "Gusto yata nila yung malalaki di ba, so it's out of the question," the outspoken executive said.

      "Si Brownlee maliit. Pero ang puso ni Brownlee, malaki pa sa Pilipinas. Siya gusto niya talaga magpa-naturalize hindi para maglaro. Gusto niya lang talaga."

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      PHOTO: Justin Brownlee
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