How about a Justin Brownlee-Renaldo Balkman import matchup in the PBA?

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 02, 2018 06:16 PM
How about a Brownlee-Balkman import matchup in the PBA?
Teammates in the ABL, Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee could possibly be on opposite sides in the PBA

Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman are the best reinforcements Alab Pilipinas has ever had in its two-year existence.

Why, you ask?

Because it was behind those two that the Filipino squad scored its first-ever playoff win in the Asean Basketball League.

Brownlee was all over the floor as always and collected 22 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists while Balkman was a force inside and pounded in a 17-point, 20-rebound double-double on top of six assists, four steals, and one block in their 110-100 triumph over Saigon in Game 1 of the best-of-three quarterfinals last Sunday.

Now, the Philippines is one win away from its first-ever playoff series win – and without a doubt, the American and the Puerto Rican are the two foremost reasons for it.

That is exactly why Brownlee, who has become some sort of a cult figure in Philippine basketball as Ginebra’s resident import, is well aware of what his running mate could bring to the table wherever he will go.

Yes, even in the PBA where the once-banned Balkman will now be able to play again.

“I feel great for him. Renaldo is a great guy and a great teammate,” Brownlee answered when asked about his thoughts on the Balkman’s ban as import being lifted.

He then continued, “He’s an incredible player and I think, in the PBA, he’s gonna be really good.”

For Brownlee, Balkman has paid his dues and is well worthy of continuing his redemption tour in Asia’s first pay-for-play league. “It was given to him and he deserves it because he’s a great guy. We are human and we make mistakes,” he shared.

He then continued, “He made a mistake a few years ago and I feel great for him (because now), he gets an opportunity to continue playing in the Philippines.”

Of course, it is yet to be determined if Balkman will indeed be playing once again in the PBA as for now, his sights remain set on Alab’s playoff run.

But if it happens, that will only mean that the current leading men for the Filipino side in the ABL will be opponents in the PBA – Brownlee, of course, reppin’ Ginebra and Balkman donning different colors.

If that time comes, Brownlee said everybody should expect only an exciting head-to-head between former teammates. As he put it, “Whenever we will be opponents, it will be a tough game. He can do a lot of things on the floor so he’s a tough matchup.”

He then continued, “But for sure, it’s gonna be very exciting.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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