Ginebra brings in Tony Bishop as potential Justin Brownlee replacement for PBA Comm's Cup

Ginebra is ready to parade old foe Tony Bishop as its new import if Justin Brownlee gets suspended for long. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga--As the entire Philippine basketball fandom awaits the decision on Justin Brownlee's fate following a failed anti-doping test, Ginebra has taken action already in case he gets a lengthy ban.

Coach Tim Cone confirmed on Friday night that Tony Bishop will fly in as some sort of a standby import for the PBA Commissioner's Cup if Brownlee will indeed not see action for the foreseeable future.

Speaking to Andrei Felix over CNN Philippines' Sports Desk, Cone said that he was all praises for Bishop for leading the Meralco Bolts in the 2022 PBA Governors' Cup Finals against Brownlee and the Gin Kings.

Meralco took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven finals, but Ginebra stole the next three games to win it all.

"He was a guy that we had a tough time defending with because he was so versatile and level-headed and we couldn't get under his skin," Cone said.

He then bared that Bishop was already considering accepting an offer to play in Mexico before they successfully persuaded him to make a PBA return instead.

"He's just one of the first guys we thought about, and we were fortunate that he was just about ready to go to Mexico to be an import but we caught him just in time and we got him to come on over for us," Cone added.

Although listed at six-feet-eight, Bishop made the six-foot-six height limit for the 2021-2022 Governors' Cup, and he should not worry about his height as he should easily make the six-foot-nine height limit for the 2023-2024 Commissioner's Cup.

"I think he's arriving either tomorrow morning or in the afternoon, and we'll get to practice with him on Monday," Cone continued.

In the case of Brownlee, Cone said that a final decision might come next week, either by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Cone, though, added that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and San Miguel Corporation are doing their best to at least lighten the possible sanction to be meted out to Brownlee.

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