THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is glad to see the process to have Justin Brownlee secure Filipino citizenship through naturalization move forward as Gilas Pilipinas prepares for important matches early next year.
"Having Justin there gives me a lot of comfort that we have, in a way, a resident import in our country together with Ange (Kouame)," said SBP president Al Panlilio on Wednesday.
Barangay Ginebra's resident import, the 34-year-old American forward is expected to suit up for the Philippines in the sixth window of the Fiba qualifiers in February and possibly the Southeast Asian Games in May ahead of the Fiba Basketball World Cup,
"Of course, [Jordan] Clarkson is committed equally but he has commitments in the NBA [which] limits his times with us. But to just have options and the caliber of Justin makes me sleep at night that we have somebody who we can use," Panlilio said.
"I guess I have to leave it to the coaches, but I think for sure, we want to use him in the sixth window in February."
SBP hopes to have Justin Brownlee on the court in Philippine uniform in the next Fiba qualifying window.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved House Bill 6224 on its third and final reading which sought to give Filipino citizenship to the resident Ginebra import, with 274 members voting in the affirmative, none dissenting, and one abstaining.
Senate Bills 1336 and 1516 seek to give Brownlee Filipino citizenship.
"We also have the SEA Games tournament in early May, so I think we can use him or [Ange] Kouame, again depending on the coaches," he said.