Angara bill grants Filipino citizenship to Justin Brownlee
MANILA, Philippines — Another measure granting Philippine citizenship to Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee has been filed in the Senate.
Senator Sonny Angara, chairman of the Samahan ng Basketball ng Pilipinas, filed Senate Bill No. 1516 on Wednesday, the same day a counterpart measure was approved by a panel in the House of Representatives.
In a statement on Friday, Angara stressed the urgency in “finalizing the naturalization of Brownlee”as the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers will be held in February next year.
“Having spent time in the Philippines for over five years, American-born Justin Donta Brownlee has embraced the culture and history of the country through his stint representing the well-established and storied Barangay Ginebra basketball team of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA),” the senator said in his explanatory note of the bill.
“More importantly, through his combination of basketball fundamentals, impressive basketball IQ, and high-flying acrobats, Filipinos – especially basketball afficionados – have come to appreciate the hard work and dedication that Brownlee has exhibited,” he also said.
According to Angara, Brownlee’s contributions helped the team win five PBA titles aside from the latter winning the Best Import Award twice.
Brownlee has a career average of 29.29 points, 10.57 rebounds, and 7.43 rebounds per game as an import in the PBA.
“Other than his outstanding output as a basketball player and the enjoyment he brings to basketball-crazed Filipinos, Brownlee’s strong pursuit to don the national team’s jersey and be among those who bring pride and glory to the Philippines should also be taken into the account,” Angara further said.
Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa also filed a similar measure last September.
Once his naturalization is approved, Brownlee is expected to reinforce the Gilas Pilipinas team in February when it goes up against Lebanon and Jordan in the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, according to Angara’s statement.
The statement further noted that Brownlee’s presence for the February games “will be critical” because of the unavailability of Jordan Clarkson, who will still be fulfilling his commitments with the Utah Jazz in the NBA.
Justin Brownlee to appear before Congress as Gilas naturalization bid picks up
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