JUSTIN Brownlee said Barangay Ginebra remains his top priority even after signing with Lebanese side Al Riyadi.
Brownlee said his signing with Al Riyadi, one of the top teams in the Middle East, has the blessing of Ginebra where he will play for the Commissioner’s and Governors’ Cup.
After his stint with Al Riyadi, Brownlee is determined to play for Ginebra particularly in the Commissioner’s Cup where the Kings will be defending their crown.
“I am very happy that Al Riyadi, a top team from Lebanon, gave me an opportunity to bring my talents there and experience a new market,” Brownlee said. “I am also very much excited to defend the crown with Ginebra.
Brownlee’s signing with Al Riyadi means that the popular import will not be able to suit up for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the Asean Basketball League (ABL). Brownlee together with Renaldo Balkman teamed up last season and led San Miguel Alab Pilipinas to its first-ever ABL crown.
Brownlee is eligible to play for Alab this season following new rules by the ABL, allowing three world imports to play for one team. Currently, Alab has Balkman and PJ Ramos as imports for this season.
Brownlee’s agent Sheryl Reyes admitted Brownlee also had an offer to play for Alab Pilipinas. In the end, they chose Al Riyadi due to a shorter contract as Brownlee will only play for one and a half months.
Reyes added Al Riyadi had offered Brownlee a one-year contract, but declined it due to his commitment with Ginebra. Reyes said the shorter contract will allow Brownlee to play for Al Riyadi where he can still be in top shape before he returns to Barangay Ginebra.
Reyes said Brownlee will be done playing for Al Riyadi on May 1.
“It’s a shorter contract than Alab basically is the main reason (why he chose to play with Al Riyadi),” Reyes said. “Al Riyadi wanted Brownlee for one year but we agreed to just sign a one-and-a-half month contract because Ginebra is the top priority.”
Reyes reiterated Brownlee’s stint with Al Riyadi has the blessing of Barangay Ginebra, while also being thankful to Alab Pilipinas for giving Brownlee another opportunity to play in the ABL.
“We got the blessing from boss Al (Chua) and coach Tim (Cone) that we are going to Lebanon before Ginebra. We did that as courtesy since he was confirmed for two conferences. We also informed Charlie Dy (Alab team owner) that we won’t be playing for Alab this year,” said Reyes.