June 25, 2024

Can Justin Brownlee’s son also play for PH? That’s up in the air

Can Justin Brownlee’s son also play for PH? That’s up in the air

There is a saying, “The apple does not fall too far from the tree.” If that is true, then Justin Brownlee Jr., son of beloved Kabayan and long-time Barangay Ginebra San Miguel reinforcement Justin Brownlee, is likely to grow up like his father: a very good basketball player.

There is even a chance that Justin Jr. might turn out to be better than his dad. He is, after all, already 5-foot-4 and is getting an early hoops education from the six-time PBA champion—and, presumably, from the other Ginebra players as the younger Brownlee (one of Kabayan's four children) has been a fixture in Ginebra practices lately.

Take a look:

Obviously, the kid’s basketball journey is only getting started, but his bloodline and pedigree have led quite a few fans asking this question: Is Justin Jr. eligible to play as a Filipino given how his dad is now technically Pinoy?

Former PBA commissioner Noli Eala, in his podcast “Power and Play,” tried to get to the bottom of things by asking another former PBA commissioner, Sonny Barrios, who is now the Executive Director of the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP).

Unfortunately, Barrios himself seems in the dark as to whether or not Justin Jr. can, indeed, don the national colors someday like his dad. But if his initial response is any indication, it looks like the answer is in the negative.

"Amerikano yan e. Anak ng Amerikano yan na naturalized Filipino,” Barrios chimed.

Nonetheless, he left the door open—ever so slightly.

“May kutob ako iba klasipikasyon nyan. I don’t want to outright say, ‘Mukhang hindi.’ Patitignan kaagad natin yan kila Attorney,” Barrios added.

Of course, the kid is only 11 and has a ways to go. But it might be a good idea to keep tabs on him this early.