Alab Pilipinas still in the dark as to why Brownlee hasn’t arrived
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag wanted to personally pick up his import Justin Brownlee last Sunday morning at the airport to bring him up to speed on their Asean Basketball League (ABL) Season 10 campaign.
But before he could even go to the airport, Alapag was told by one of his staff that the celebrated Barangay Ginebra import had not boarded his flight to Manila—a recurring theme over the past week that has left team officials in a bind.
“My biggest thing is we’ve been off and on in terms of our contact with him, so first and foremost, I just want to make sure that everything is okay with him back in the United States,” Alapag said after his shorthanded team hacked out a 99-79 victory over the Saigon Heat at Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex.
“I wish I had a more detailed answer for everyone. We really don’t know his status right now with the team.”
Alab owner Charlie Dy said they are hoping that Brownlee communicates with them to finally resolve the situation so “everyone can move on.”
Alab released Prince Williams to make way for Brownlee’s entry to the lineup.
Even with the delays, Dy said Brownlee is very much part of their plans as they still have nine more days before their next game against the Saigon Heat in Ho Chi Minh City.
The had initially booked a flight for Brownlee to arrive in Manila on Feb. 17, but the import said he only wanted to plane in two days later. Brownlee missed that flight again, leaving Alab shorthanded in the 80-92 loss to the Kuala Lumpur Dragons.
After Brownlee apologized for missing the flight, Dy said they gave the former Ginebra import the option for his preferred schedule, just before Alab’s game last Sunday.
The team owner said Brownlee had messaged Alapag that he was already at the airport last Saturday and that he bought a separate ticket. But Brownlee told team liaison Lamont Waters that he was barred from boarding his flight as he didn’t have a return ticket.
Dy said Brownlee could have presented the ticket that the team bought for him initially since it had a return flight.
That raised the suspicion if Brownlee wanted to play for Alab, although the import had been showing up at home games in the past and had expressed his desire to play for the Filipino ball club.
Alapag was all praises for his team, which also missed Andrei Caracut and Jeremiah Gray due to injuries. INQ