BARANGAY Ginebra resident import Justine Brownlee knows personally how tough the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship is, but the charismatic American player is convinced Mighty Sports can go deep this time around.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun out there so I hope Filipino fans in Dubai will continue to support us,” said Brownlee, who helped the Gin Kings capture the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title last season.
Emboldened by the presence of former LA Lakers star Lamar Odom and a Chinese Basketball Association veteran in 6-foot-11 Randolf Morris and a pair of Fil-Am players Jeremiah Gray and Roosevelt Adams, Brownlee is hoping the team backed by SMDC, Healthcube, Oriental Group and Go For Gold can play better this time and contend for the championship in the Feb. 1-9 event.
“Hopefully we can win the championship,” said Brownlee who will reunite with former Ginebra player Jett Manuel. The former UP star quit from the most popular ballclub in the pro league after playing only one season.
Brownlee was part of the team that won only once in seven games two years ago.
Despite Brownlee’s confidence, Mighty Sports owner Alex Wongchuking stressed success can only be achieved if team members will embrace their roles to the letter.
“Key words are sacrifice and determination,” said Wongchuking. “They should know that we are representing our country so they have to give their all.”
Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu said both Gray and Adams are welcome additions as they can provide additional firepower and length to the team owing to their experiences playing for various colleges in the US.
Gray, who stands at 6-foot-4, recently broke Dominican College's single-season scoring record in the NCAA Division II with 509 points. Last season, he averaged a respectable 18.9 points per game being a 42 percent shooter from the field, including 33.8percent from 3-point range.
The 6-foot-5Adams, on the other hand, went undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft after playing for the College of Idaho.
Apart from Manuel, other local players in the team are former PBA star Joseph Yeo, Gab Banal, University of the Philippines playmaker Juan Gomez de Liano, La Salle’s Santi Santillan and College of St. Benilde’s Justin Gutang and Fil-Am Troy Rike.