Barangay Ginebra is bringing in an old nemesis to fill in the spot of their beloved import, Justin Brownlee, for the upcoming PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Coach Tim Cone said Tony Bishop would come in as their interim import, while Brownlee sorts out his legal issues regarding his doping test results.
Bishop was part of the Meralco Bolts that figured in a thrilling six-game Governors’ Cup finals against the Gin Kings in 2021.
“We’re bringing in Tony Bishop, the ex-Meralco import that we played against in the finals a couple of years ago,” Cone bared in an interview on CNN Sports Desk.
Although the Kings beat the Bolts in that title series, Cone said they had a hard time containing the 6-foot-8 Meralco reinforcement.
“He was a guy that we had such a tough time defending. He was so versatile and level-headed. We can’t get under his skin,” the PBA’s winningest coach said.
Cone said they got to Bishop as he was already set to leave the United States to play in a Mexican league.
“He was just about ready to go to Mexico, but we caught him just in time. I think he’s arriving either tomorrow morning or in the afternoon. We get to practice with him on Monday,” Cone said.
Ginebra won’t be able to field Brownlee in the PBA just yet as the FIBA might come out with a decision to suspend him.
The naturalized player tested positive for a cannabis-related substance, which could have come from the medication he took for his injury.
Cone said Brownlee is sorting out the situation with the help of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and San Miguel Corporation.
“I know the SBP [and] the San Miguel [Corporation] are groups doing their very best to give him all the support — the legal support he needs to shorten or remove the possible suspension,” the coach said. (ABS-CBN News)