We continue the PBA Imports Fantasy Tournament, where we picked 24 imports from across eras and grouped them into two brackets, with eight seeded directly into the second round. The remaining 16 will duke it out in our online polls. Our writers will preview each matchup, and you get to vote for the winner here One Sports PH's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
For the second matchup, Paolo del Rosario previews an interesting battle between do-it-all imports Kenny Redfield and Justin Brownlee.
A PBA import's role is to typically elevate a team's offense to another level. The league has seen its fair share of reinforcements who could haul in a ridiculous amount of points. But the best imports don't just score, they do it all. Kenny Redfield, who played for Pepsi, Purefoods, Shell, and Sta. Lucia, and current Barangay Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee are both sterling examples of imports who could do more than score.
Apart from being a bucket-getter and a beast on the boards, Redfield also had a penchant for racking up assists. Brownlee has been unstoppable on the scoring front and is comfortable creating plays for his teammates. Both reinforcements demanded attention from defenders, and made the opposition pay with their playmaking.
Redfield and Brownlee are both championship winners, Best Import awardees, and have racked up triple-doubles with regularity throughout their PBA careers. Despite both of them standing around 6'4", they were able to claim Best Import nods during the Commissioner's Cup, where they faced significant height disadvantage compared to other reinforcements.
The similarities don't stop there, both Brownlee and Redfield came into the PBA as replacement imports and surpassed initial expectations. Both cagers became staples in import-laden conferences for years, becoming reliable and bonafide winners in the process.
Kenny Redfield was one of the first imports who was a certified stat-sheet stuffer, being dubbed as "Mr. Triple Double" in the '90s. In his first stint in the Philippines in 1993, Redfield racked up six triple-doubles for Pepsi in the 1993 Governors' Cup, which set the tone of what type of reinforcement he was. Versatile in terms of both playmaking and scoring, Redfield was also the only player, other than Bobby Parks, to win the Best Import plum more than once in the '90s.
What made Redfield's individual accomplishments more impressive is the fact that he held the record as the shortest player to win the Commissioner's Cup Best Import Award for 24 years. Standing at 6'4", Redfield managed to excel in a tournament which allowed for much taller reinforcements to play.
Redfield also proved he was a clutch player, which was evident during a wild sequence in the 1996 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals against Barangay Ginebra. With under 10 seconds left to play, Benjie Paras swatted away an attempt from Ginebra import Henry James that would've given the Barangay the advantage. The ball found its way into Redfield's hands and he streaked down the court and let fly a desperation heave at the buzzer that booked Shell's place in the finals.
The dynamic Redfield appeared in two Commissioner's Cup Finals in his three stints in the PBA, taking home the 1994 championship with Purefoods while forcing Alaska to a Game 7 in a losing effort in 1996.
Justin Brownlee didn't impress his teammates after his first practice in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup. Coming in as a replacement import for Barangay Ginebra after Paul Harris got injured in the first game of the conference, Brownlee surpassed everyone's expectation with his all-around game. Also a regular triple-double threat, Brownlee has solidified himself as Ginebra's resident import for the past four seasons.
Just like Alaska iconic import Sean Chambers in the 1990s, Ginebra head coach Tim Cone has been able to call on the services of Brownlee regardless of the height limit of the conference. Standing at only 6'4", he managed to bring Ginebra a championship during the Commissioner's Cup in 2018. Brownlee also earned his lone Best Import Award win during the Commissioner's Cup, narrowly beating Redfield for the distinction of being the shortest player to win that plum.
Brownlee's most iconic moment in a Ginebra uniform came in his first stint with the Gin Kings. The do-it-all import took matters into his own hands in Game 6 of the Governors' Cup Finals with time winding down. With Meralco and Ginebra knotted at 88-all with 5.5 ticks left to play, Brownlee took the inbound pass and stepped into a triple over the outstretched hand of then-Best Import winner Allen Durham to give the Gin Kings their first title in eight years.
With Ginebra, Brownlee has never failed to at least make the semifinals in his four tours of duty. Three of those four tries resulted in championship rings for the Ginebra franchise, with titles in the 2016, 2017, and 2019 Governors' Cups and the 2018 Commissioner's Cup.
Who wins this matchup, Redfield or Brownlee? Cast your vote on our Facebook page.