Brownlee explains decision to get naturalized

Justin Brownlee continues to be mesmerized with the Filipinos' love for him. Dennis Acosta

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANDALUYONG--On Sunday, San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua dropped a bomb during Ginebra's grand fans day at the Metrotent when he announced Justin Brownlee's desire to become a naturalized Filipino.

A night later, in a more intimate victory party by the Barangay with the employees of the said corporation inside its main office, the six-foot-five American bared his inspiration behind the said move.

"The way the people embrace me every single day, I fall more and more in love with the Philippines," said Brownlee. "In just my whole time being here, my love just keeps growing."

On what he likes about the Filipinos, he answered, "The way they're just so helpful and kind. I rarely have encountered about a horrible or bad Filipino. Most Filipinos I've encountered with and become friends with are incredible people [with a] kind heart--always very helpful."

For now, Brownlee's focus is to get the Filipino citizenship for residency.

"I guess right now, I just try to get naturalized just because I love it here in the Philippines," Brownlee further said.

But when asked on what he will do in case the SBP intervenes and gives him an offer to become Gilas' naturalized reinforcement, the 30-year-old Brownlee responded, "I would love to [accept it]. I love the people. I love making them happy through basketball and whatever I do. If I could play with Gilas, that would be incredible to represent the Philippines."

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