MANILA, Philippines – Ginebra San Miguel Governor Alfrancis Chua dropped a bombshell on PBA Best Import Justin Brownlee during the Ginebra Fans Day and championship celebration in Ortigas on Sunday, August 12.
"Sa harap ng buong team – andun ako, si Boss [Ramon S. Ang], sabi [ni Brownlee,] 'Boss, I want to be naturalized," Chua said to an explosion of cheers from the Ginebra fans who braved rains and floods just to get to the venue. (LOOK: Ginebra fans brave rains for championship celebration)
(In front of the whole team – I was there with Boss Ramon S. Ang – Brownlee said, 'Boss I want to be naturalized.')
But hold your horses, people. This naturalization is apparently not for basketball purposes. "The People's Import" won't be donning the Gilas colors anytime soon.
"Ang gusto ata nila yung malalaki, di ba? So out of the question siguro [yung playing stint]," Chua clarified in a sit-down with reporters later on.
(They want the big guys, right? So, I think the playing stint is out of the question.)
Still, Brownlee wants the naturalization for citizenship purposes and possibly his life after basketball.
"I wish I could live here year-round," Brownlee said before the program. "I wish it could become my home permanently. I wish."
"Brownlee loves the Philippines. He told me many times na kung matapos siya ng paglalaro, he wants to stay in the Philippines [and] he wants to be naturalized," Chua said. "Brownlee loves the Philippines. He wants to stay here for good."
(He told me many times that if his playing career is done, he wants to stay in the Philippines and he wants to be naturalized.)
Chua clarified that Brownlee is looking to emulate the living conditions of other permanent citizens like Meralco Bolts head coach Norman Black.
And there's a San Miguel Corporation job in it for him, too, if he so chooses.
"Sabi ni Boss RSA, 'Kung tapos ka na maglaro, ayaw mo na, automatic, we'll give you a job right away,'" Chua said.
(Boss RSA said, 'If you're done playing or if you don't want to play anymore, automatic, we'll give you a job.')
After helping Ginebra bag three championships, it seems that Brownlee is all set for life away from the hardwood, and deservedly so. – Rappler.com