Justin Brownlee leads Indonesian club to unbeaten start in BCL

Justin Brownlee leads Indonesian club to unbeaten start in BCL

/ 06:40 PM April 07, 2024

Justin Brownlee Pelita Jaya Basketball Champions League (BCL)

Justin Brownlee of Pelita Jaya in the Basketball Champions League (BCL).–FIBA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Justin Brownlee has been fitting in just nicely at Pelita Jaya, helping the Indonesian club to a top spot in the opening round of Basketball Champions League (BCL) Asia Qualifiers.

Another sweep would bring Brownlee and his new crew to the main tournament of what was formerly known as the Fiba Asia Champions Cup, and within it a chance to play against familiar faces.

“I would be torn in a tough place,” Brownlee said in a story posted on the BCL-Asia website. “I got a lot of love for everyone in the Philippines and all so [to play] the Filipino team outside of the (Philippine Basketball Association)? Oh, man, it’ll be tough for me.”

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The main draw of the BCL Asia will pit eight club teams. Two of those will come from the qualifiers, and another pair will emerge from the Fiba West Asia Super League. The other four clubs, meanwhile, are teams that will be tapped by premier leagues from China, South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines.

Brownlee won’t have to worry that much as commissioner Willie Marcial revealed that the PBA has begged off from partaking in the continental showcase.

“I’ve talked to Sec-Gen (Andreas) Zagklis during the last Fiba event here and told him that we’re a bit in a bind,” the PBA chief told the Inquirer.

READ: Justin Brownlee relished father’s role during hiatus

“I told him about the Gilas schedule, which includes the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. That, on top of the fact that we’re only having two tournaments this season, makes it difficult for us to send a team,” he went on.

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Brownlee playing a PBA club will be the closest thing to him suiting up again for Barangay Ginebra. It remains to be seen whether the league will tweak next season’s order of conferences, but traditionally the PBA holds the Philippine Cup first, pushing Brownlee’s Gin Kings return to an even later date.

For now, Brownlee’s fans could only settle for watching him donning the Gilas threads.

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