BROWNLEE – All three senators, Ronald Dela Rosa, Sonny Angara, and Francis Tolentino, are ardent fans of basketball, and they have agreed to assist Barangay Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee in obtaining Philippine citizenship.

As part of his commitment to assist the ongoing development of the national basketball program, Angara made the announcement on Friday that he had submitted Senate Bill (SB) 1526, which is a counterpart measure for the naturalization of the American citizen.

Angara, in his capacity as chairwoman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, had in the past started the process of naturalizing Brownlee, who is now 34 years old, and potentially another international player in order to increase the size of the roster for the national team.

We are all familiar with Brownlee’s talents on the basketball court, and we can only speculate about the amazing things he will be able to accomplish while playing for the Gilas Pilipinas team. “Justin has shown his strong desire to be a part of the national team by playing and living in the Philippines for over five years as an import of Barangay Ginebra in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association),” Angara said in a statement. “Justin has played and lived in the Philippines for over five years.”

“Malaki ang maitutulong ni Brownlee sa ating Gilas Pilipinas. Bilang isang fan din ng basketball, talagang nakakabilib din ang mga nagawa na niya sa PBA. Two times winner of the Best Import award. Naka-limang titulo na siya bilang import ng Barangay Ginebra at kabilang na siya sa pinakamagagaling na import sa kasaysayan ng (Brownlee will be a tremendous aid to Gilas Pilipinas.

As a basketball enthusiast, I have to say that I was very blown away by his play in the PBA. He has won the title of Top Import twice, was an import for Barangay Ginebra, and won five titles for the team. He is also one of the best imports in the history of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA),” he added.

Prior to the introduction of Senator Angara’s bill, Senator Dela Rosa presented Senate Bill 1336, also known as An Act Granting Philippine Citizenship to Justin Brownlee. This bill was referred to the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which is chaired by Senator Francis Tolentino.

The committee decided to hold its first hearing on November 21.

Ginebra recruited Brownlee in 2016, despite the fact that he stands a fraction of an inch shorter than 6 feet 6 inches.

The Gin Kings have acquired his services for at least two more competitions, including the currently occurring Commissioner’s Cup as well as the Governor’s Cup.

He had played in 157 games by the end of the previous year and had posted averages of 28.9 points and 12 rebounds per game.

“He has been a resident of the Philippines for more than five years. The discipline he displays in his athleticism is a model for the Filipino people to follow. According to what Tolentino said in a statement, “It would ignite the additional patriotism and Pinoy pride in each and every one of us, particularly in a sport that is quite popular in the country.”

It is anticipated that Brownlee will be able to contribute to the Gilas Pilipinas team in February when it competes against Lebanon and Jordan in the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. This will take place after the approval of his naturalization application.

Angara was also the primary author of Senate Bill 1892, which led to the naturalization of Ange Kouame, a man who is 6 feet 10 inches tall and was born in Ivory Coast.

Kouame, who will turn 25 in the following month, moved to the Philippines in 2016 to play for Ateneo in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. He was an important contributor to the Blue Eagles’ championship runs in 2018 and 2019, and he was named the Most Valuable Player for Season 84 of the academic year 2021-2022.

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