The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas announces that Justin Brownlee will be available to play for Gilas Pilipinas Men in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers.
It will be recalled that FIBA issued a Notice of Charge to Brownlee, carrying a proposed three (3) month Period of Ineligibility in relation to the anti-doping rule violation that occurred during the 19th Asian Games.
“We’re elated that the consequences FIBA issued does not prevent Justin Brownlee to play for Gilas in the upcoming window,” said SBP President Al Panlilio. “Having him as our naturalized player alongside some of our locals that he has already played with before will be beneficial to the squad.”
Brownlee will be joining his Barangay Ginebra San Miguel teammates Scottie Thompson and Jamie Malonzo in the squad led by head coach Tim Cone and team manager Richard Del Rosario.
BREAKING: Justin Brownlee will be available to play for Gilas Pilipinas Men in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers per an official release by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Saturday, February 3, 2024. #SBP #GilasPilipinas pic.twitter.com/63jOwlPxQv
— Sports Bytes (@sportsph) February 3, 2024
Chris Newsome, Calvin Oftana, CJ Perez, June Mar Fajardo, Dwight Ramos, AJ Edu, Carl Tamayo, Kai Sotto, and Kevin Quiambao complete the list of 12.
“Justin Brownlee is a big part of the team and the program moving forward and having him means we can hit the ground running,” Cone shared. “He’s already played with most of the guys so chemistry will already be there. He can now ramp up his conditioning and be ready to go once his suspension is lifted.”
Brownlee is a six-time PBA champion and a three-time Best Import of the Conference awardee. Last year he led the Philippines in regaining the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games men’s basketball gold medals.
However, a few days after Brownlee helped end the Philippines’ 61-year drought in the Asiad, the International Testing Agency announced that he tested positive for a prohibited substance. He opted to serve a provisional suspension period which commenced on 9 November 2023, making himself unavailable for Ginebra’s title-retention bid in the ongoing PBA 48th Season Commissioner’s Cup.
Brownlee not playing a game since the gold-medal winning effort against Jordan hastened his return to the national team along with the fact that the banned substance he used was taken out-of-competition and unrelated to performance enhancement.
“I can’t wait to play basketball again and put all of this behind me,” said Brownlee. “It’s always been an honor to represent the Philippines and I’m happy to be given the chance again.”
Gilas will face Hong Kong on February 22 at the Tsuen Wan Stadium and Chinese Taipei on February 25 at the PhilSports Arena and tickets for the home game are already available via smtickets.com.