Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee is finally celebrating a championship as a full-fledged Filipino.
Just three days after the bill that grants him Filipino citizenship was signed into law, Brownlee finally got the chance to play with his "all-Filipino" crew in front of a historic crowd at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
And that made his sixth title truly more special as he helped the Kings protect the home court against the visiting Bay Area Dragons with a 114-99 victory in Game 7.
“It makes it even more special. We played with all-Filipino tonight for the first time since I've been here so that was very special,” said Brownlee who is now tied with Alaska’s former import Sean Chambers as reinforcements with the most titles in the PBA.
“My teammates definitely congratulated me and told me how proud they are of me becoming a Filipino, very special and just to top it off with the win. This win is not only for Ginebra this is for the whole country,” he added.
The Commissioner’s Cup import fought his heart out with the rest of his fellow Filipinos, flirting with another triple-double of 34 points, 12 assists along with three blocks. He anchored a huge 34-18 second half onslaught which proved to be the turning point in the contest.
“We fought an international team and you got to give a lot of credit to Bay Area. They are tough, they are coached very well and I'm just happy that we got away with the win,” said Brownlee.
Brownlee also won another title on his sixth try, making him undefeated every time he reached the title series – something he credited to the togetherness of the Kings.
“Coach Tim (Cone) preached to us, we got to do it together. It can't just be one man doing it all or trying to do it all. We came in as a team and we always stick together,” he added.
“We pride ourselves in playing together and I think that's the biggest thing, us coming together and not spreading apart over the years we built that and we really take pride in that.”