Justin Brownlee will be bringing more than just his scoring prowess and solid defense to Alab Pilipinas.
The American reinforcement is also expected to carry the never-say-die spirit of Barangay Ginebra when he debuts Wednesday night in the 2017-2018 ASEAN Basketball League at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Alab tapped the Gin Kings import and Puerto Rican Renaldo Balkman as replacements for reinforcements Ivan Johnson and Reggie Okoso, whose tandem only gave the home team one win after four games.
Brownlee, a workhorse who carried Ginebra to back-to-back PBA Governors' Cup titles, and Balkman will be tested at 8:00 p.m. against Westports Malaysia Dragons.
"Sobrang laking tulong niya para sa Alab team natin kasi alam naman natin na dala-dala rin ng Alab ang Pilipinas," Gin Kings guard Scottie Thompson told ABS-CBN Sports Wednesday after their team practice. "So great addition sa kanila."
"Hopefully madala ni Justin yung never-say-die spirit na ibinigay namin sa kanya doon sa Alab," he added.
Thompson also pointed out that Alab will get more support from fans especially from the Ka-Barangays with their beloved import playing for the Jimmy Alapag-mentored club.
"Sure ball 'yan mas maraming susuporta sa Alab dahil Justin played for us sa Ginebra," said Thompson. "And alam ko namang ang mga Ginebra fans susuportahan din siya."
Gin Kings mentor Tim Cone sees the addition of Brownlee as a chance for Alab to turn its campaign around.
"As long as he won't get injured we're fine," said Cone. "No, I'm just really happy for Justin. He really loves to be here in Manila. Any opportunity he gets, he comes here."
"I know he's really excited playing for Alab," he added. "I think playing for Jimmy (Alapag) is gonna be a good experience for him. I just wish him the best."
Though Cone wanted Brownlee to give his best to help Alab win the championship, the mentor wanted his prized reinforcement to still be serviceable as the Gin Kings gun for a Governors' Cup three-peat later this year.
"And again I just wish him to stay healthy," said Cone. "This is a good way for him to stay in shape. Keep playing and be ready for us."
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