Legendary PBA import Sean Chambers may have found his doppelganger, his double, in the PBA – Justin Brownlee of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings.
No, they don’t exactly look alike. Brownlee is heftier and taller at 6’5” to Chambers’ rather slim 6’1” at the time he was playing for Alaska in the 1990s.
Without a doubt, though, both are great PBA imports that led their teams to championships—Brownlee having won back-to-back titles for Ginebra and Chambers a humongous six titles for Alaska, including a grand slam in 1996.
Still, that does not make them look like two peas in a pod. But they could be –as far as coach Tim Cone is concerned. And coming from his former coach at Alaska, the 52-year-old Chambers is flattered by the comparison.
Chambers is currently in town after being hired by Alaska as a consultant in the team’s buildup for the upcoming PBA season.
Talking to Spin.com earlier this week, Chambers said he remains a good friend of his 59-year-old Alaska mentor and are in constant communication. In one of their recent conversations, Chambers said Cone told him that he’s still searching “for the next Sean Chambers” but that he may have found someone like him in the person of Brownlee.
“He is always wanting to find the next Sean Chambers all the time,” said Chambers. “And he goes, this is the closest that you can get,” he said, referring to Brownlee.
Chambers said Cone explained to him the basis for the comparison. Brownlee, according to the multi-titled coach, is like Chambers for “the way he does things.”
“He is a teammate first, win for my teammates, and it’s not about him but he is very unselfish. Kinda have the same work ethic,” Chambers said, recalling what Cone told him.
The legendary import said he was humbled to hear his former coach say that he remains in search of the “next Sean Chambers” to this day.
“That’s a compliment in itself for me,” said Chambers.
Although his playing days are over, Chambers – who works as a middle school vice-principal in Sacramento, California – is back in the country to help rejuvenate the Alaska Aces and end their losing streak.
He vowed to win a championship for Alaska in the next season.
Chambers first joined Alaska as an import in 1989. Three years later, Chambers led the Alaska Milkmen to their first-ever PBA championship, the 1991 Third Conference. During that memorable 1991 PBA season, Chambers averaged 37.7 points per game out of the 34 games he played.
He played 10 more seasons in the PBA, becoming Alaska’s “resident” import. He played his guts out for Alaska, competing with much taller imports. Despite the back injuries that struck him, Chambers continued filling the stats sheets for his team. During Alaska’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2010, he finally got a much-deserved award when he was named only the second “100 Percent Performer” of the PBA since Norman Black won the award in 1983.
Unfortunately, though, Chambers has not been included yet in the PBA Hall of Fame, an award bestowed by the league every two years.