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Brownlee on track to gain Pinoy citizenship in time for 6th window

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JUSTIN BROWNLEE — PBA MEDIA

BARANGAY Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee is excitedly counting the days until he can finally put on that Gilas Pilipinas jersey and play for the Philippines.

Mr. Brownlee’s naturalization procedure is in full swing in Congress and the two-time PBA Best Import is on track to gain Filipino citizenship in time for Gilas’ FIBA World Cup Qualifiers sixth window assignments in February.

“I feel excited. I can’t wait to represent the Philippines in whatever tournament or Gilas window it could be,” said Mr. Brownlee.

The Gilas prospect has been religiously attending every hearing in both the House of Representatives and Senate while diligently performing his duties for the Gin Kings in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone shared that despite going back and forth to Congress, his prized import never misses the Gin Kings’ practice.

Last Tuesday, after completing Ginebra’s session, Mr. Brownlee quickly changed to his — barong tagalog and slacks and headed straight to the House, where the plenary approved on third and final reading the bill granting him Philippine citizenship.

The day after, Mr. Brownlee delivered 25 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists to lead Ginebra to a 115-96 romp over Converge. “Having Justin (Brownlee) here being Player of the Game while doing all that, it’s awesome,” said Mr. Cone, also a Gilas assistant coach.

The naturalization continues at the Senate, where the counterpart bill is due for second reading.

“It’s a whirlwind for him right now. Hopefully, it will settle down as we go into the playoffs,” said Mr. Cone. — Olmin Leyba

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