By Drei Christopher Villanueva
Justin Brownlee is back to reconnect with Pinoy fans who embraced him as their hero. The import, who steered Barangay Ginebra to a thrilling buzzer-beating win over Meralco in the PBA Governors Cup Game 6 finals series last season, has agreed to play for Mighty Sports in the coming Dubai International Tournament slated February 18.
Sheryl Reyes, who represents Brownlee in the Philippines, confirmed the news: “Justin Brownlee is very happy that he was selected to be part of the team. He can’t wait to play in the Philippines again,” wrote Reyes in an online interview.
Brownlee is fondly remembered by Barangay Ginebra fans for his heroic performance in the season-ending tournament last year. He drilled in a triple right before the buzzer to send the Gin Kings to their first championship in eight years. This time, though, Brownlee will play for another Philippine squad, Mighty Sports, which will represent the country in the Dubai International Tournament.
The 6-foot-9 Brownlee will join Hasheem Thabeet, the second overall pick in the 2009 NBA Rookie Draft, as Mighty Sports’ reinforcements in the Dubai International Tournament, an event being participated by our national teams in the past.
“Hasheem is very excited to come,” said Reyes. “This is his first international job outside of the NBA. He wants the extra time to get acclimated to the different time, weather conditions and long flight to Manila. He is ready to go to work.”
Thabeet is expected to arrive on February 3 to train with Mighty Sports early while Brownlee will plane in three days later. Last year, Mighty Sports represented the Philippines in the William Jones Cup and the heavily-reinforced squad bannered by former PBA imports Al Thornton, Mike Singletary, Hamady N’Diaye, Vernon Macklin and Zach Graham and South Korean Basketball League reinforcements Dewarick Spencer and Troy Gillenwater, ran roughshod over the opposition and swept the tournament all the way to winning the gold medal.
In the coming Dubai International Tournament, the Coach Charles Tiu-led Mighty Sports is expected to experience stiffer competition.
Image source: Inquirer Sports