Move to make Brownlee Filipino gains momentum with bill
Justin Brownlee had one wish after leading Barangay Ginebra to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title.
“I wish I could live here all year round but unfortunately, there are government rules and things like that but I wish I could be at home permanently,” the well-loved Kings import said.
Well, he just might get his wish and even earn a shot to represent the country as well.
A group of lawmakers on Wednesday filed a measure granting Filipino citizenship to the prolific Ginebra import, whose all-around game and nerves of steel endeared him to the millions of fans of the PBA’s most popular ball club.
The passage of House Bill No. 8106, introduced by 1-Pacman Reps. Mikee Romero and Enrico Pineda, Bohol Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado and Masbate Rep. Scott Davies Lanete, will allow Brownlee to play for Gilas Pilipinas as a naturalized player.
Andray Blatche, the only naturalized player of Gilas, is currently serving a suspension for his part in a brawl between the Philippines and Australia during a World Cup qualifying match last month.
The bill recognizes that Brownlee had “brought enormous pride and joy to … all basketball enthusiasts in the country.”
“With a very decorated and illustrious career, he wishes to play for the Philippine national team. [H]e also wants the Philippines to be his permanent home,” a portion of the bill read.
“I read in various outlets his wish to become a naturalized Filipino that’s why I filed a bill today,” Romero said.
The bill has the full support of San Miguel Corp. top honcho Ramon S. Ang, who said: “We will apply and will sponsor him to be a Filipino citizen so he can play for the next 100 years.”
“He’s a very, very nice guy and in fact, I think we will all be very happy if he’s going to be a Filipino,” Ang added.