FIBA Asia Cup

Mission accomplished as Brownlee thrills fans with rousing home performance

Delfin Dioquino

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Mission accomplished as Brownlee thrills fans with rousing home performance

SLAM. Justin Brownlee in action for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2024 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.


Justin Brownlee treats fans to a memorable show in his first game in the Philippines in 10 months as he leads the way in Gilas Pilipinas' drubbing of Chinese Taipei

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee wanted nothing but to make the fans happy in his first game in the country in nearly a year.

And he showed that through his fine play as he steered Gilas Pilipinas to a 106-53 home rout of Chinese Taipei on Sunday, February 25, that allowed the Filipinos to sweep the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

The beloved naturalized player finished with team-highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds on top 5 assists and 2 blocks for a rousing homecoming performance at the jam-packed PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

“I missed it. I missed the fans more than anything. I just missed seeing their smiles and just being able to make them cheer and just seeing their passion for the game,” Brownlee said.

Brownlee last played in the Philippines in April when he and Barangay Ginebra bowed to TNT in the PBA Governors’ Cup finals last season.

The Gin Kings tapped Brownlee for what would have been his 11th straight import conference with the franchise, but he missed PBA action for the first time since 2016 after he failed a doping test in the Asian Games in October.

Brownlee opted to serve a voluntary suspension that started in November before FIBA gave the go signal for his return this February.

Eager to repay the fans’ love as they waited four months for his hardcourt comeback, Brownlee erupted for 11 points in the opening quarter to set the tone in the 53-point blowout.

“They definitely came in with some energy and it made me want to be more aggressive. Just to hear that crowd roar, just to put a smile on their face or make them cheer and be happy,” he said.

And it is not just on the court where fans invigorated Brownlee but also off it.

“I got to be honest, I was a little down coming here, but coming here and seeing these fans and stuff like that, showing great support, it definitely has cheered me up,” said Brownlee.

“I’m on that high again as far as being excited. It just feels great.” –

Mission accomplished as Brownlee thrills fans with rousing home performance

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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.