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MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee is set to return to the hardwood with Gilas Pilipinas, right where he belongs.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced on Saturday, February 3, that FIBA – just in time for the first 2025 Asia Cup qualifiers window – has cleared the naturalized Filipino of his anti-doping violation during the Hangzhou Asian Games, where Gilas snapped a 61-year, gold-medal drought.
“We’re elated that the consequences FIBA issued does not prevent Justin Brownlee to play for Gilas in the upcoming window,” said SBP president Al Panlilio. “Having him as our naturalized player alongside some of our locals that he has already played with before will be beneficial to the squad.”
Brownlee has been given a “Notice of Charge carrying a proposed three-month Period of Ineligibility,” and due to his voluntary suspension since the violation surfaced last November 9, he will only be suspended until Thursday, February 8.
Per an SBP source, Brownlee immediately signed a document confirming his voluntary suspension, which set in motion FIBA’s retroactive verdict.
During his three-month period of inactivity, Brownlee’s club team Barangay Ginebra moved on with Tony Bishop as its import in the 2023 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, where the Gin Kings eventually got swept in three semifinal games by sister team San Miguel.
Ginebra’s loss is the Philippines’ gain, however, as Brownlee may now suit up right back into his blue and white colors starting this February 22 in Hong Kong, to be followed by a home court return on February 25 at the PhilSports Arena against Chinese Taipei. – Rappler.com