Justin Brownlee was in attendance when Gilas Pilipinas held its Monday evening practice at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City and the 3-time PBA champion import reiterated his willingness to be the team’s naturalized player.
A bill has already been filed in Congress by 1-Pacman Party List Representative and NorthPort Batang Pier owner Mikee Romero calling for the naturalization of the 31-year old native of Tifton, Georgia, USA although nothing is still certain at the moment with regards to its status.
“I hope (it happens) soon. Sooner than later,” said Brownlee. “But I’m not sure right now as far as the naturalization is going. It is still pending from what I heard but I’m hoping that the bill can be passed soon.”
National team head coach Tim Cone admitted that he has requested Brgy. Ginebra’s resident import to join the weekly session as Jayson Castro, Matthew Wright and June Mar Fajardo won’t not able to participate.
Castro recently came down with an ankle injury and has already been dropped by Cone from the training pool. Wright, on the other hand, was absent due to the birth of his child while Fajardo is nursing an injury which he sustained during San Miguel’s game against Meralco.
“I asked Justin to come in and help us out as a favor. He came in and helped us out and joined our practice,” said Cone.
And well-loved American reinforcement didn’t think twice in accepting his mentor’s invitation.
“Coach Tim invited me and it was an honor to just be invited in practice and being around with these guys. Playing in the PBA, playing against them, and now practicing with them, it’s a special moment. It’s a lot of talent. I’m hoping they do well in the SEA Games and get the gold medal,” said the Best Import of the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup.
“Some nice colors. I like the colors. Hopefully, I can be sporting it one day in a real game,” he added.