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Justin Brownlee weighs overseas offers as he goes on break from Gilas, PBA duties

Justin Brownlee Gilas Pilipinas

Justin Brownlee is weighing his options to play overseas as he takes a break from national team duty with Gilas Pilipinas and from his PBA club Barangay Ginebra, which is set to open a new campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Brownlee stressed that he doesn't want to take himself out of the hardcourt following Gilas' two-game sweep of the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers last week.

In order to keep in shape, Brownlee is mulling offers to see action abroad.

"I definitely want to stay in shape and hopefully maybe an opportunity comes where I can play, if not in Asia, but somewhere. I just really wanna stay in game shape and don’t wanna take too much time off," Brownlee said on Sunday as Gilas defeated Chinese Taipei with a 106-53 beating at the PhilSports Arena.

Tim Cone, who serves as Brownlee's coach in both Gilas Pilipinas and Ginebra, said he welcomes the idea of the naturalized Filipino playing hoops elsewhere.

"There’s offers [for him] to go play overseas since it’s All-Filipino (in the PBA) and we’re perfectly fine with that," Cone revealed.

"We’re all for him going out and staying in shape."

Cone, though, assured that Brownlee will always be available for Gilas regardless of where he chooses to play next.

The 35-year-old reinforcement is tipped to rejoin Gilas when they reconvene in late June to prepare for the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July. The Filipinos are slated to take on world no. 8 Latvia on July 3 at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia before facing no. 23 Georgia on July 4 at the same venue.

By that time, Cone is hoping to have a healthy and complete 12-man lineup with Brownlee leading the way alongside other veterans June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, CJ Perez, Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana, and Chris Newsome and young guns Dwight Ramos, Kai Sotto, Kevin Quiambao, Carl Tamayo, and AJ Edu.

"If he goes and play somewhere, or in Europe or in Japan or Korea or the Middle East, where he played in before, he’ll always be available for the window because he’s a naturalized player so if he goes and plays, he’s got a contract in June and July and August, he’ll be able to come back and join us for the window," Cone said.

Cone added that Brownlee will also return for another tour of duty with Ginebra once an import-laced PBA conference returns this year.

"He will definitely be back for us in Ginebra in the next conference after the All-Filipino, he’s already locked in for that. But in the meantime, he’s looking at offers and he’ll probably play somewhere for a while."

—JMB, GMA Integrated News