WITH his naturalization in sight, Justin Brownlee is expected to don the Gilas Pilipinas jersey in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.
Justin Brownlee set for SEA Games
Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino said the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is determined to reclaim the gold in men’s basketball in the SEA Games that Brownlee will be part of the line-up.
“Kausap ko naman ang basketball. Not a surprise, but babawiin natin ang 5-on-5 at 3x3. Mabibigat na ‘yung ilalaban doon. Sila Brownlee na ‘yun. Another good news for us sa Cambodia,” said Tolentino during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
Tolentino also said the POC will also help in determining the line-up of the other teams whether they are also fielding in a naturalized player.
“Titignan natin kung sino ‘yung ina-accredit ng Cambodia sa basketball,” said Tolentino. “Baka surpresahin na naman tayo sa Cambodia. Baka may ex-NBA.”
The POC said the Cambodia SEA Games organizing committee requires a passport for a certain athlete to be eligible to play in the biennial competition.
At the moment, the bill on Brownlee’s naturalization was already signed on third and final reading, with a signature by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the final hurdle for it to become a law.
Brownlee is expected to be already naturalized with his passport by the time the SEA Games is held from May 5 to 17.
“Pasok na sa SEA Games ‘yun kasi pinakamabilis nga ‘yung kay Brownlee. Sabi ng SBP, baka pagamit nila si Brownlee,” said Tolentino.
The Philippines lost the gold in men’s basketball after Indonesia, beefed up by former NBA player Marques Bolden, swept the tournament.