With the PBA looking to stage one import-laden conference for the upcoming season, Brgy. Ginebra is ready to welcome back Justin Brownlee for his eighth tour of duty with the league’s most popular squad.
Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone disclosed that Brownlee, who is fresh from a stint in Dubai, is now on stand-by mode as the league is planning to hold a Governor’s Cup after the season-opening Philippine Cup.
“He is back in the US. He is on call. He asked permission to play in Dubai. And obviously, things weren’t happening here but he is obviously on call and ready to come in anytime,” said Cone during a guesting on the online program Zoom In on Spin.ph.
The 33-year old Brownlee has been the crowd darlings’ resident reinforcement since 2016 and has won four championships including a Best Import citation during the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup. He is a proud owner of three Governors’ Cup rings (2016 to 2018) and one Commissioner’s Cup (2019).
Cone said that 6-foot-7 American was so committed to the team that he even wanted to join them inside the league bubble in Clark, Pampanga during the 2020 Philippine Cup as a guest.
“He was going to come during the bubble. He was going to come and join us but they said we can only take a certain amount and he was going to start practicing with us. Then, the lockdown and he couldn’t get into the country and all kinds of things happened,” shared the 23-time PBA champion mentor.
The former Alaska and Magnolia coach likened Brownlee’s relationship with Brgy. Ginebra to that of legendary import Sean Chambers’ with the Wilfred Uytengsu-owned franchise.
“He is just like Sean Chambers. Sean would play in other leagues but would never make a contract that would interfere with his contract with playing in Alaska. He always builds everything around Alaska,” explained Cone.
“And that’s what Justin has done for us as well. He builds everything around his Ginebra stay even when he is offered more money elsewhere. I know he has been offered more money elsewhere sometimes.”