Justin Brownlee makes his long-awaited debut for the Philippine men’s basketball team as he leads the final 12-man lineup that will battle Lebanon in the opening game of the sixth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers on Friday.
The naturalized Barangay Ginebra stalwart reinforces a Gilas side manned by six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo at the middle, and reigning PBA MVP Scottie Thompson and CJ Perez at the backcourt.
Joining the three in the roster announced by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Thursday are Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana, and overseas players Dwight Ramos, Bobby Ray Parks, brothers Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena, and the returning Jordan Heading.
Meanwhile, young big man Mason Amos makes his debut with the men’s team as Reyes and the coaching staff tapped him as back-up at the frontcourt in the absence of Kai Sotto and the injured Japeth Aguilar.
Gilas faces the Cedars at 6 p.m. at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
This will be the first time the 34-year-old Brownlee will be donning the national colors since finally swearing his allegiance to the country as a naturalized citizen last month.
The presence of the long-time Ginebra import gives Gilas a good shot at getting even with the Cedars, who beat the Filipinos at home, 85-81, last August during the fifth window.