Justin Brownlee remains as a wildcard option for Gilas Pilipinas
Paul Lintag on Dec 04, 2018 07:58 AM
Ginebra super import Justin Brownlee remains a wildcard for Gilas Pilipinas as his papers for naturalization are already being processed
MANILA, Philippines --- Gilas Pilipinas will be leaving no stone unturned as it hopes to salvage its 2019 FIBA World Cup bid.
After back-to-back home losses in the Asian Qualifiers, the Philippines is now left scrambling as it finds itself outside the top-3 of Group F for the first time.
Gilas Pilipinas is in serius danger of missing the World Cup and as the national team looks ahead to th final window in February 2019, everything is in play.
One major factor to consider for Gilas is who will be the designated naturalized player for the road games against Qatar and Kazakhstan.
Stanley Pringle and Christian Standhardiner both played great games for Gilas in their turn in this window, albeit both performances didn't lead to wins.
Andray Blatche will be ready to go again as his FIBA suspension is finally up. However, his status will remain uncertain until he's actually here.
Gilas chose not to include Blatche in its new 20-man lineup for this latest FIBA window even though the former Brooklyn Net would have been available for the Iran game.
Ginebra super import Justin Brownlee remains a wildcard for Gilas Pilipinas as his papers for naturalization are already being processed.
Brownlee has expressed his desire to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas many times before.
"Ang isang option na nakasalang na ay si Brownlee," Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao said.
"Nasa Congress na yung papeples niya. That's an option we can consider. Siguro, kung ipu-push nila yun, baka magamit natin, baka mahabol," he added.
While Brownlee will not be a serious option until he's actually naturalized, his presence will defnitely boost Gilas Pilipinas.
The Philippines can afford to have multiple naturalized players on deck as long as only one makes the final lineup for each particular game.
In the case of Pringle and Standhardinger, their inclusion in the final 12 depends on the opponent.
"Hindi naman serious but yun nga, knowing what we know now. Nag-aantay, nage-expand tayo ng options natin and that is an immediate option we can exercise," Guiao said on Brownlee.
"Pwede kang mamili depende sa needs and situations. Those are the options," he added.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8