By Jonas Terrado
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas received a major boost to its title bid in the ASEAN Basketball League after bringing back import Justin Brownlee for the rest of the season.
Team owner Charlie Dy on Sunday confirmed the change that will see the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel resident import replacing the struggling Prince Williams.
Dy added that Brownlee is due to arrive Monday morning and could possibly join the team’s afternoon practice session.
Both parties had been openly expressive about a potential reunion, especially after Brownlee led Ginebra to the PBA Governors’ Cup title.
Brownlee is set to make his debut Wednesday night when Alab visits Malaysia to face the Kuala Lumpur Dragons.
The Jimmy Alapag-coached squad is hoping that Brownlee’s addition will give Alab the needed push to overcome a tipsy-turvy campaign in the regional league.
Alab is currently in second place with a 9-5 record, but has posted just five wins in the last nine games.
The 31-year-old Brownlee, who will join 7-foot-5 Sam Deguara and southpaw Nick King as the Alab’s other imports, hopes to replicate the ABL title run made two seasons ago.
He averaged 21.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks in 25 games as Alab bucked a 1-4 start to capture the crown with a roster that included fellow import Renaldo Balkman and Local Most Valuable Player Ray Parks Jr.
Brownlee replaces Williams, who averaged just 9.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in six games with Alab.
Williams, a former NBA G-League player, came in last month following the departure of guard Khalif Wyatt.
The team went 4-2 during Williams’ short stint.
Alab has made four import changes since the preseason, including King as a replacement for Balkman and Deguara taking the place of Adrian Forbes.