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Justin Noypi


For Pinoy basketball fans, not just the Ginebra diehards, Brownlee’s biggest achievement was his willingness to become one of us — a Filipino.


So Justin Brownlee had just collected his third Best Import award in the Philippine Basketball Association.

That makes him tied for second most number of citations along with former Meralco import Allen Durham, who has decided to ply his trades in the Japan B. League the past three years.

The late great Bobby Parks — a PBA Hall of Famer — still holds the most number of Best Import awards with seven, hence the special honor was named after him.

Brownlee was the latest import to win the award consecutive times after Gabe Freeman pocketed the plum in 2009 and 2010 Fiesta Conferences, but he isn’t done yet reaping honors.

Once their campaign ends in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup, Brownlee will resume his role as Ginebra San Miguel’s resident reinforcement for the season-ending tournament — the Governors’ Cup — where imports about his size will see action.

He was able to thrive in tournaments where imports are bigger than him. In fact, two of the three awards he won came in the Commissioner’s Cup, proving that he can dominate even against bigger foes.
Brownlee had already put himself among the all-time best imports in the league.

He was among the only five players to breach the 5,000-point mark while playing in Asia’s pioneering professional basketball league. To date, he is ranked fifth in the all-time list with 5,160 career-total points behind Parks, Norman Black, Sean Chambers and Lew Massey.

Brownlee will have to wait until next conference before he can surpass the 5,386 career-total points of Massey, but he is expected to move up to fourth all-time in the scoring leaders’ list among imports once he plays in the Governors’ Cup.

Previously, he had already achieved several milestones in the PBA.

He is the all-time leader in three-points made among imports and now has a crack at tying Chambers as the reinforcements with the most number of championships with six.

Brownlee is halfway from achieving it as Ginebra is now currently tied with Bay Area in their Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven championship series at 2-2.

So how do we rank Brownlee from among the all-time best imports?

For Pinoy basketball fans, not just the Ginebra diehards, Brownlee’s biggest achievement was his willingness to become one of us — a Filipino.

Brownlee already got the nod of the Congress and the Senate and a bicameral committee is now being formed before he gets the final stamp from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to allow him to represent Gilas Pilipinas in major international tournaments beginning the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers which will be held at the Philippine Arena.

Brownlee had already made a name for himself — Justin Noypi — proof of how much he loves the Philippines.

Black and Parks became Filipinos as they established families in the Philippines. Brownlee is being naturalized.

But that doesn’t take away the fact how much Brownlee values the country — and carrying the Philippine jersey will be a fitting culmination.

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