Justin Brownlee of Barangay Ginebra is one of the most beloved imports in the history of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
He has led the team to six championships, and he now stands on the brink of etching his name into the league’s history books as the winningest import of all time.
In the upcoming best-of-seven championship series against TNT, Brownlee hopes to add one more title to his already impressive resume.
Reflecting on his journey, Brownlee said that he never imagined that he would achieve such success in the PBA. He believed that he would win just one or two championships, but the league’s competitiveness made it a challenging feat.
“From 2016, who would’ve thought that it would all come to this?” he said, shaking his head with a smile. “I thought, maybe, after my first PBA Championship that I’d win maybe one or two more. Maybe.”
Brownlee acknowledged that it’s not easy for an import to come to the PBA and lead a team to a championship, let alone win six titles.
His optimism was dimmed by the league’s competitiveness and the challenge of leading a team to victory as an import.
“It’s not an easy league for an import to come in here, play well, and lead a team to a championship. Leading a team to wins is entirely different.”
If Brownlee wins one more championship, he will surpass Sean Chambers as the winningest import in the PBA’s history.
Chambers played for Tim Cone during Alaska’s reign in the ’90s.
Brownlee has already surpassed iconic imports such as Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Norman Black, and Billy Ray Bates.
However, Brownlee’s focus is on the upcoming championship series against TNT, and he is determined to lead Ginebra to another title.
He understands the importance of taking care of his body as he ages.
He is now 34 years old and knows that he cannot defeat Father Time.
However, he can slow him down by staying in the best shape possible.
“Most of the time it’s not just one thing. But in this particular conference, it was just keeping on improving on getting my body in the best shape I can,” he said.
Brownlee has put a premium on staying power as he ages, understanding that taking care of his body is crucial to his success in the league.
He eats healthily and works out smartly, always mindful of the toll that basketball takes on his body.
As Ginebra prepares to face TNT in Game 1 of the Governors’ Cup Finals, Brownlee’s focus is on winning one more championship. He knows that it won’t be easy, but he’s up for the challenge. Barangay Ginebra fans will be cheering for him as he tries to etch his name deeper into the league’s lore and achieve PBA immortality.
With his remarkable talent, dedication, and focus, there’s no doubt that Brownlee will continue to be a force in the PBA for years to come.