MANILA, Philippines–If the historic run to the gold medal in the Hangzhou Asian Games is used as barometer, Justin Brownlee may have ended any debate as to which naturalized player Gilas Pilipinas will parade moving forward.
“Oo naman,” Alfrancis Chua, Gilas’ team manager during the continental meet, said after being asked about the performance that may have validated Brownlee’s case.
That has also prompted many to look back and ponder if Brownlee would have been the better fit in the Fiba Basketball World Cup than Utah Jazz standout Jordan Clarkson.
Clarkson had a memorable showing for Gilas during the final World Cup game against China that averted an embarrassing winless campaign at home.
But Chua said Brownlee has one thing that puts the Barangay Ginebra resident import ahead of Clarkson even despite the latter’s NBA pedigree.
“He’s not only a good player, Justin is capable of making his teammates better,” said Chua in Filipino. “He’s a team player, he understands basketball and he knows when to shoot.”
Brownlee’s unbelievable shots that saved Gilas from defeat against China in the Asiad semifinals and the subsequent win over Jordan for the gold have further raised his case as the most successful import in PBA history.
“They are now putting ‘Justin for President’ because of their love for Justin. He doesn’t ask for anything, he just wants to win,” said Chua.