May 23, 2024

From rivals to brothers: Justin Brownlee ecstatic to play with PBA adversaries

 From rivals to brothers: Justin Brownlee ecstatic to play with PBA adversaries

Years after wreaking havoc in the PBA donning the Barangay Ginebra red, Justin Brownlee now has an entire country to lift wearing the Gilas Pilipinas blue. But he won’t be alone in that heavy task as former league rivals have now turned into teammates in the national team.

Brownlee, who attended the Gilas practice on Monday for the first time as a naturalized Filipino, expressed his excitement about playing with several PBA standouts he played against over the course of his career in the Philippines. 

“I’m very familiar with their game and it’s good to be on the same side ‘cause they got some great weapons,” Brownlee said to News5’s Martie Bautista in a chance interview.

The six-time PBA champion specifically pointed out TNT’s RR Pogoy and San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo and Cjay Perez.

“Just very excited to play alongside those guys. You know I've been going against them for years now. Things will be fun.”

Already a fan favorite for the Barangay Ginebra nation, Brownlee said he wants to make the whole country proud and happy.

The 34-year-old forward is expected to debut for Gilas Pilipinas this coming February for the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“[I] just want to represent the country the right way, the best way I can.”

And while he is a technically a newbie for the national squad, Brownlee brings a lot of wisdom on the table that he wants to teach the young guns.

“I learned a lot of things here in the Philippines and you know, I played internationally in other leagues as well. So, whatever knowledge I bring to the table, I’m hoping I can just bring it to those guys and make ‘em see,” Brownlee said. “Maybe they can learn from just watching something or maybe I can even learn something from them guys. So, I’m just open to anything and any type of leadership.”