Everyone still needs to earn his spot in the final lineup.
Justin Brownlee’s highly anticipated debut with Gilas Pilipinas did not disappoint. In the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers held at the Philippine Arena, it was clearly him who came out as the most impressive player.
Against the Lebanese side, the three-time PBA Best Import awardee posted 17 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. In the loss against the Jordanians, JB embodied the Philippine squad’s proverbial PUSO as he finished with 41 markers, 12 boards, 3 dimes, and 1 block. The 34-year-old forward seemed exactly what the doctor ordered for Gilas.
That being said, nothing is promised when it comes to the 2023 FIBA World Cup. At the moment, no one is a lock a to make the final roster in August nor in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games according to Gilas coach Chot Reyes.
“Again, there are no shoo-ins for the World Cup, the SEA Games, anywhere.”
Nothing is set in stone right now. Perhaps the veteran tactician just doesn’t want to preempt things especially at a stage where some of the most important parts of their preparations are yet to be finalized.
“Right now, the plan is in place. There are broad strokes to the plan. But the finer details are to be fleshed out as the competition comes near,” said Reyes to the media after Gilas’ 90-91 defeat against Jordan.
It’s understandable why Coach Chot isn’t naming any shoo-ins for his final FIBA World Cup roster. They still have a long way to go before the global games, and anything can happen.
Still, Justin Noypi’s chemistry with the Philippine team is undeniable. Noticed how he dominated without forcing the issue? Well, maybe he deserves a shot at proving himself once again in the SEA Games in Cambodia this May.