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Bill filed to make Brownlee Filipino

 

By BEN ROSARIO

 

Administration congressmen yesterday sought the grant of Filipino citizenship to American basketbal import Justin Donta Brownlee, who has endeared him­self to Filipino basketball fans for his highly exceptional basketball skills.

Led by 1PACMAN Partylist Rep. Michael Romero, congressmen filed House Bill 8106 that will make the Ginebra Gin Kings star a naturalized Filipino through con­gressional action.

HB 8106 was co-authored by Reps. Enrico A. Pineda (1Pacman Partylist); Erico Aristotle C. Au­mentado (NUP, Bohol), and Scott Davies S. Lanete (PDP-Laban, Masbate).

If approved into law, Brownlee will be the third American bas­ketball cager to be naturalized through an act of Congress. The two others were Marcus Douthit in 2011 and Andray Blatche in 2014, who both represented the Philippine national team in inter­national tournaments, particularly the FIBA.

Brownlee will now be available for the Philippine team in upcom­ing FIBA regional qualification tour­naments.

The 30-year-old all around cag­er has won the hearts of Filipino basketball fans for helping Baran­gay Ginebra win three Governor’s Cup since 2016. He ended an eight year championship drought for the popular Philippine Basketball Asso­ciation team.

“He has brought enorous pride and joy to the PBA as well as to all basketball enthusiasts in the coun­try,” said Romero, who owns Global Port Batang Pier, one of the leading PBA teams.

According to Romero, Brownlee wants to “have a house here just like Norman Black and other im­ports who have been enamoured to the Philippines.”

“With a very decorated and il­lustrious career, he wishes to play for the Philippine national team, he also wants the Philippines to be his permanent home,” he said.

Black and the late Bobby Ray Parks were among the American basketball professionals who have set up residences in the Philippines after marrying Filipinas.

“At present he continue with his efficient sportive activities and is socially active through community service. Justice Donat Brownlee is dependable when it comes to help­ing Filipinos – a true mark of a Fili­pino spirit and character,” stressed authors of the measure.

The lawmakers added: “His al­legiance to this country is indubi­table, his skills and competency in the field of basketball shall truly complement the entire nation.”

On the other hand, Romero urged colleagues to give Brownlee “the privilege of becoming a Fili­pino citizen.”

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