Justin Brownlee praises Gilas’ young core

Posted by watchmen
February 28, 2024
Posted in SPORTS


(From left) Gilas Pilipinas’ Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao, Dwight Ramos, and Kai Sotto. (Mark Demayo / ABS-CBN News photos)
(From left) Gilas Pilipinas’ Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao, Dwight Ramos, and Kai Sotto. (Mark Demayo / ABS-CBN News photos)

Justin Brownlee’s star shone the brightest yet again during Gilas Pilipinas’ sweep of the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.

The 6-foot-5, resident Barangay Ginebra San Miguel import averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block in the Nationals’ games against Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei, making his basketball return triumphant.

Fueling these numbers, as well as his 26-point, 13-rebound, five-assist game, was the hero’s welcome that he received from his countrymen, with the naturalized Filipino expressing how ecstatic he was after the game.

“I missed it,” the multiple-time PBA champion said.

“I missed the fans more than anything. You can hear it in the background. I just missed it, seeing their smiles and just being able to make them cheer and seeing them,” he added.

Another thing that helped him in his return, he said, was the presence of the squad’s young core that also balled out for the Tim Cone-mentored team.

“I feel like I’m younger, man,” bared Brownlee about having 21-year-old Kai Sotto, 22-year-old Kevin Quiambao, 23-year-old Carl Tamayo, 24-year-old AJ Edu, and 25-year-old Dwight Ramos on board.

“I feel like I’m younger, to be honest,” said the 35-year-old veteran, sharing how these guys’ energy has impacted him.

“They show [up] every day to practice, from shootaround to film, you see the energy, and I love to see it.”

“Carl, KQ, of course, Dwight, Kai, and AJ, I just feel the excitement.”

Aside from the injured Edu, the quartet of young guys displayed their arsenal in Coach Cone’s system, with three of them averaging in double digits and all of them putting up at least three rebounds and an assist in two contests.

Kai put up 15.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, three assists, and 2.5 blocks; Dwight tallied 10.5 markers, 4.5 boards, three dimes, and 1.5 steals; Quiambao normed 12.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and one steal; while Tamayo delivered 6.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

These, according to Brownlee, were a result of the players’ winning mentality.

“[There is] the urgency of wanting to get better and wanting to do something great for the country,” said JB, while also praising the young stars’ talent.

“Those guys got a ton of potential. [They have] an unbelievable skill set, and they always got positive energy.” (ABS-CBN News)

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