Justin Brownlee might solely shake his head upon listening to the names of the prolific gamers who crammed the naturalized participant’s slot for Gilas Pilipinas.
Jordan Clarkson. Marcus Douthit. Andray Blatche. Even school star Ange Kouame comes along with his personal particular resume.
“Man. I positive acquired huge sneakers to fill,” Brownlee mentioned with a nervous chuckle throughout a chat with the Inquirer late Friday evening.
Clarkson, the Utah Jazz star within the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation is doubtless the perfect scorer the nationwide basketball program has ever had. Douthit, in the meantime, spearheaded the dramatic victory over South Korea within the Fiba Asia Cup that launched the Philippines again into the World Cup. And in that 2014 version of the worldwide basketball showcase, Blatche helped Gilas Pilipinas nail a milestone victory.
“I do know the historical past, particularly with Blatche and the nationwide crew even approach again in 2014, so I’ve undoubtedly acquired huge sneakers to fill,” he added.
Kouame could be the least completed of that pool, however his work with Ateneo and the nationwide crew’s sensible run throughout a Fiba qualifying match held right here is nothing to scoff at.
Brownlee, the well-loved Barangay Ginebra import is on tempo to develop into the latest recruit for Gilas Pilipinas following his bid for Filipino citizenship, which formally acquired going final on the Home of Representatives simply this Wednesday.
And as such, he is able to weave his personal story into the nation’s basketball lore, with out worrying about tips on how to make himself stand out when in comparison with those that got here earlier than him.
“I’ve acquired a number of respect for these guys, particularly as regards to basketball, however I actually simply wish to be the perfect I can,” he mentioned.
“I really feel like everyone seems to be particular in his personal approach, however I suppose by simply being me and enjoying my type of basketball and serving to that implement inside the crew and with what they’ve already acquired going as far with the best way they play, is how I can [truly] slot in.”
A five-time PBA champion and a two-time winner of the league’s Greatest Import plum, Brownlee’s indefatigable play has endeared him not solely to followers of the PBA but in addition to the gamers—and followers—of opposing ball golf equipment.
“He has by no means missed apply, and he provides it his all each time,” nationwide coach Chot Reyes instructed the Inquirer not too long ago. “And the advantage of JB is that he’s prepared to be the backup. He instructed me he will likely be prepared if JC (Jordan Clarkson) turns into unavailable—that’s a giant factor.”
And the do-it-all ahead insists that along with his time coming, his purpose has nothing to do with being as excellent as his predecessors.
“I wouldn’t say I might be any extra as particular because the previous naturalized gamers, however I feel by simply being me, I feel I can convey one thing totally different,” he mentioned.
Brownlee’s naturalization invoice might want to hurdle two extra readings on the Home stage earlier than it strikes on to the Senate. There, it can undergo the identical legislative course of and can then be despatched to the Workplace of the President for signing into regulation.
Solely then can Brownlee start his function as a naturalized participant and backstop the nationwide crew—which basketball officers hope might occur by February, when Gilas hosts streaking Lebanon and vengeful Jordan at Philippine Enviornment in Bulacan.
“Hopefully, it simply works out,” he mentioned.
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