Justin Brownlee Honors Coach Tim Cone With Asian Games Gold
The 19th Asian Games saw a memorable milestone in Philippine basketball when Justin Brownlee, the beloved import of Barangay Ginebra, won gold with Gilas Pilipinas. Brownlee’s success, however, was more than a personal triumph; it was a gift to his coach, Tim Cone, and the ardent basketball fans in the Philippines.
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Despite having just recently become a Filipino citizen and having only played in his third big international competition with the national team, the 35-year-old Brownlee grasped the tremendous significance of what this particular set of Gilas players had accomplished.
Brownlee, known for his humility and love of the Philippines, expressed joy by saying, “It feels great.” I am overjoyed, not just for myself, but also for the Philippines.” His words struck a chord with supporters who had hoped to see their country thrive on the Asian Games stage.
Brownlee demonstrated his customary flexibility in the gold medal against Jordan, producing 20 points, ten rebounds, and five assists to a hard-fought 70-60 triumph. This victory ended the Philippines’ historic 61-year quest to bring the prized Asiad gold home.
Justin Brownlee’s path to becoming a naturalized Filipino citizen was aided by Congressman and former PBA chairman Mikee Romero, whose support in the Lower House opened the door for this historic feat. Brownlee, on the other hand, remembered the coach who was instrumental in his PBA career.
He dedicated this historic win to Tim Cone, his sole coach throughout his seven years in the PBA. Cone’s experience as a member of the 1998 Centennial Team that settled for bronze at the Bangkok Asiad was a fitting homage. In some ways, Brownlee’s gold medal triumph was the realization of a long-held ambition for Cone.
Brownlee’s presenting the gold medal to Coach Cone and the Filipino basketball community demonstrated the friendship, solidarity, and genuine love for the sport that links fans and players alike as the celebrations rippled around the Philippines.
With Brownlee and the victorious Gilas team set to return to the Philippines early Sunday morning, the country awaited their heroes, who had won a gold medal and carved their names in Philippine basketball history.