Brgy. Ginebra coach Tim Cone knows fully well the impact Justin Brownlee can make with any team, reason why he is hoping to see his prized import suit up for Gilas Pilipinas.
A still-impressed Cone made the pronouncement after Brownlee narrowly missed a triple-double during their win against the Meralco Bolts, Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The three-time PBA champion reinforcement finished the game with 27 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal and 4 blocks.
While Cone is well aware that he has no say in the selection process for the formation of the team that will represent the country in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, he is hoping that Brownlee will get a second look for the naturalized player position.
“I know that Andray Blatche is a great player and I know all those guys. I really don’t have any say in that. But I tell you, my vote goes to Justin as the naturalized player for the national team,” said Cone.
Incidentally, a bill has already been filed in Congress by NorthPort team owner and 1-Pacman party-list representative Mikee Romero back in August 2018 endorsing the naturalization of Brownlee.
If and when the bill gets through the Senate and House of Representative and eventually gets signed by the President, Brownlee will then be a logical candidate for the position.
The 31-year old native of Tifton, Georgia, USA has time and again said in interviews that he would consider it an honor to represent the country.
“I’d definitely be honored to play and represent the country, that’s definitely been a dream of mine since I’ve been here in the Philippines. Connecting with the Philippine culture and the people, it’s been unbelievable,” said Brownlee.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao, however, has made it clear that Blatche is still the man for the job given his size and familiarity with the system.
Still, Cone believes that Brownlee would be a great addition to the team if and when he becomes eligible.
“He can change a team, not just by his play but his personality. He is an amazing player and a human being. He really is.”