Brownlee for sixth FIBA window?
November 8, 2022 | 00:00
MANILA, Philippines — Barangay Ginebra imports Justin Brownlee’s naturalization petition is underway in a bid to complete the legal process in the House of Representatives and Senate in time to prepare for the sixth World Cup qualifying window FIBA Asia in February next year.
SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios, Gilas Deputy Executive Director/Team Leader Butch Antonio and Legal Counsel Atty. Aga Francisco met with Rep. Mikee Romero’s chief of staff, Atty. John Paulo Ronquillo and Deputy Chief of Staff Atty. Von de Castro to discuss Brownlee’s candidacy for Makati last Friday. “We have already given copies of Justin’s documents to House and Senate staff,” Antonio said. “The only document we are waiting for is Justin’s original birth certificate which we are now tracking as it was sent via the US Postal Service.” Rep. Romero said the House Justice Committee, chaired by Rep. Juliet Ferrer, will hold a hearing on Brownlee’s request on Nov. 16.
Gilas head coach Chot Reyes said he hopes Brownlee will be naturalized when the Philippines play in the sixth window against Lebanon on Feb. 24 and Jordan on Feb. 27, both at home. Jordan Clarkson will not be available to play for Gilas during the window due to his NBA schedule, but has committed six weeks with the national team until the FIBA World Cup from August 25 to September 10. Antonio said Brownlee would also be a possibility to play for Gilas at the SEA Games in Cambodia from May 5-17 and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China from September 23-October 8. “It all depends on the eligibility rules for the SEA and the Asian Games,” says Antoine. In the last SEA Games, the organizers adopted FIBA’s eligibility rule so that PBA local Mo Tautuaa would be drafted as a naturalized player. In previous SEA Games, Fil-foreigners were allowed to play as locals if they showed Filipino passports, regardless of when they were issued. In the Asian Games, the Olympic Council of Asia recognizes Fil-foreigners as locals with Filipino passports. In the SEA and Asian Games, a national team has a limit of one naturalized player.