The bond is strong among the Gilas Pilipinas players.
They may be opponents in the PBA, but the players of Gilas Pilipinas got each other's backs.
San Miguel Beermen guard Chris Ross shared as much to One Sports when asked how they reacted to the issue of Justin Brownlee failing a doping test during the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
"I messaged him in the group chat, telling him we're all behind him. Everyone chimed in, saying they're behind him," Ross said.
Traces of carboxy-THC, a prohibited substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency, were found in Brownlee's urine sample. Carboxy-THC is linked to cannabis use.
"Actually texted him a couple of days ago, checking on him, seeing how he's doing. He said some Justin Brownlee things," Ross added.
"Just kinda waiting. He's just happy they weren't gonna take the gold away from us," Ross shared. "That's something Justin would say."
Justin Noypi, man.
Gilas Pilipinas' historic basketball gold medal in the Asian Games, won after 61 years, will remain with the Philippines despite Brownlee's doping issue. Under the Olympic Council of Asia's rules, loss of points or any other sanctions will only be meted out for team sports if more than two members committed violations.
The Philippine Olympic Committee and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chose not to open Brownlee's B sample and instead will await the decision of the International Testing Agency. The SBP will try to appeal on medical grounds.
For now, with Brownlee under provisional suspension and facing a possible two-year penalty, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel are looking for a replacement import for the upcoming PBA Commissioner's Cup, which will open this November 5.
Ever the leader for Gilas Pilipinas, Ross told JB what every basketball fan wants.
"I told him everyone knows we won the gold. Kinda wish you would (be able to) play," he said.