Brownlee, 3 Ginebra aces lead PH pool for World Cup qualifiers

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

January 20, 2023, 4:44 pm

<p>Justin Brownlee (left) <em>(Courtesy of PBA Images)</em></p>

Justin Brownlee (left) (Courtesy of PBA Images)

MANILA – Newly naturalized Justin Brownlee is set to make his national team debut in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers February window

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) unveiled on Friday the Gilas Pilipinas pool for the Feb. 24 and 27 games against Lebanon and Jordan, respectively, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan province.

Brownlee will be joined in the 24-man pool by Barangay Ginebra teammates Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson and Jamie Malonzo; La Salle's Kevin Quiambao; and incoming Ateneo freshman Mason Amos.

The other returning players are San Miguel's CJ Perez and June Mar Fajardo; Japan B.League imports Carl Tamayo, Kiefer Ravena, Thirdy Ravena, Ray Parks and Dwight Ramos; Meralco's Chris Newsome and Raymond Almazan; TNT's RR Pogoy and Calvin Oftana; NorthPort's Arvin Tolentino, Australian National Basketball League's Kai Sotto; and unattached Ange Kouame and LeBron Lopez.

Another Japan import, Jordan Heading, was added to the pool, a sign that all’s well with SBP after he abandoned the national team and signed up  with Taiwan’s T1 League last year.

Adamson’s Jerom Lastimosa and La Salle's Schonny Winston round up the team.

It will either be Brownlee or Kouame for Gilas as FIBA allows just one naturalized player on the roster.

Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson previously said he will play for Gilas as long as it is not in conflict with the National Basketball Association.

The Philippines has already secured a slot to basketball’s biggest tournament as it will co-host the event with Japan and Indonesia from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10. (PNA)