It appears injury prevented JB from playing in the quadrennial showpiece.
Renowned sports analyst Quinito Henson dropped a bomb on One PH’s Power and Play: Justin Brownlee was actually supposed to play in the FIBA World Cup, not Jordan Clarkson.
Unfortunately, Kabayan at that time was nursing an injury, revealed to be bone spurs by Brownlee’s longtime coach Tim Cone, who also confirmed that surgery was needed for complete healing.
“He (Brownlee) was supposed to play in the FIBA World Cup,” said Henson categorically as he was recapping the timeline of events leading to JB’s failed doping test in the Asian Games, starting from his bone spur removal in early August. “Because of his injury, napasok si Jordan Clarkson.”
Even Noli Eala, Power and Play’s host, seemed dumbfounded by Henson’s out-of-left-field revelation, prompting him to clarify:
“So, ibig mo sabihin, lalaro si Brownlee instead na si Clarkson? ‘Yun ang mangyayari dapat?”
Henson, a sports analyst for nearly three decades now, answered in the affirmative.
“That’s right, that’s right. ‘Yan ang pasya ng SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas), ‘yan din ang pasya ng head coach (Chot Reyes) and the management of Gilas,” added Henson. “Justin Brownlee was supposed to play for the Philippines, pero ‘yung nangyari he had bone spurs in his foot, he had to undergo arthroscopic surgery—three places sa kanyang paa. They (doctors) were able to extract those bone spurs. So, hindi siya nakalaro, Jordan Clarkson came in.”
Henson even described the revelation as “something like an untold story behind the FIBA World Cup.”
Indeed, the whole narrative was that Clarkson was the choice from the very beginning, with Reyes already communicating with the Utah Jazz guard as early as June.
Even so, Henson’s timeline adds up, and it is entirely possible that Brownlee, not Clarkson, was actually Gilas’ choice as naturalized player in the FIBA World Cup.
But past is past. Now, fans await JB's fate.