He was honored during halftime of Game 4 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals between San Miguel and Magnolia.
To say that being away from basketball was tough for Justin Brownlee was an understatement.
But such was what Brownlee had to go through as he took a hiatus from the sport he loves after failing the doping test after the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
“Mentally, it was very tough, not knowing whatever the outcome for me. [It’s] very stressful,” he told reporters on Friday as he made his first public appearance since the Asian Games.
“A lot of days and nights feeling sorry for myself.”
[ALSO READ: SBP: Justin Brownlee cleared to play for Gilas Pilipinas]
It was even tougher to watch Barangay Ginebra San Miguel go to the trenches without him in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“It was very difficult at the beginning. I felt like I let my team down,” he said.
Eventually, he learned how to cope with his ordeal.
Brownlee admitted he still tried to stay in shape in the last three months he needed to take a backseat from any professional basketball.
Now, the finally beloved naturalized Filipino is back in the country he’s come to love and represent it in the first window of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers this February.
“At the end of the day, if you get knocked down, you just stay positive and move forward,” he said.
“Right now I feel good. I feel rested. I feel healthy.”