With Ginebra or Alab, Justin Brownlee loves the Philippines, and the feeling is mutual

Delfin Dioquino
With Ginebra or Alab, Justin Brownlee loves the Philippines, and the feeling is mutual
Justin Brownlee loves the Philippines so much, he jokes about wanting to be the next Gilas import

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee is not supposed to return to the Philippines until the end of the PBA’s All-Filipino Cup but he has no problems being back to the “greatest place I’ve played in the world.”

Brownlee made his ASEAN Basketball League debut in fine fashion after submitting 29 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and two blocks to power Alab Pilipinas in a 90-79 win over the Westports Malaysia Dragons on Wednesday, January 3.

At 29 years old, Brownlee is already a veteran in the international basketball scene, having played in Italy, Mexico and France before being one of the cornerstones of Ginebra’s back-to-back Governors’ Cup titles in the last two years.

As far as Brownlee is concerned, nothing compares to playing here in the Philippines.

“We need to talk to Gilas and tell me to sign them up for the national team. Just joking, just joking. I love it here man. It’s the greatest place I’ve played in the world,” said the former St John’s University stalwart.

“You know, playing in Europe and in the States for a couple of years but I just love it here and the fans are great. They love me and I love them back. Whenever I have the opportunity to play, I’ll definitely try to see and take that opportunity.”

As one of the most beloved imports in the PBA, Brownlee received the same admiration he gets when he dons the Barangay Ginebra jersey.

After knocking down back-to-back triples that gave Alab a 66-63 lead late in the third quarter—and catapulting Pilipinas to a game-clinching run in the fourth period—Brownlee was showered with “Ginebra” chants from the sizeable crowd at the Arena in San Juan.

“That was very special. I know I’m here in Alab, this is a great team, a great organization and a great company and everything and have great sponsors. It’s always going to feel great to hear that chant no matter where I am,” Brownlee said. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.