Justin Brownlee had another phenomenal all-around performance but the effort still wasn’t enough to give his team a W as Brgy. Ginebra absorbed its 4th defeat in 8 outings in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings fell to Phoenix Pulse despite having control of the game from the opening round up to the early stages of the 3rd period, no thanks to the 45-point output by the Fuel Masters which proved to be the turning point of the game.
Down by 14 in the 9-minute mark of the 3rd, the Fuel Masters went on a shooting spree anchored on Fil-Canadian Matthew Wright’s remarkable marksmanship to wrest the upper hand heading into the final frame.
As expected, the Gin Kings mounted a last-ditch stand in the payoff period with Brownlee at the helm but the Fuel Masters just won’t be denied as the Louie Alas-mentored never relinquished the lead and held on to register their first back-to-back wins in the conference.
The 31-year old reigning Best Import finished with 31 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks and 4 turnovers.
Brownlee led his team’s fightback in the 4th but the inability of the locals to contribute spelled the difference. The 3-time PBA champion scored all but 1 of Brgy. Ginebra’s 22-point 4th quarter output with Stanley Pringle making the lone basket from a free throw which was a result of the technical foul called on Phoenix Pulse head coach Louie Alas.
Instead of putting on the blame on lack of local support, Brownlee took responsibility for the loss citing lack of ball movement.
“I gotta do a better job moving the ball, getting people involved for sure. I had a lot of turnovers this game. I think we just gotta get that rhythm back on offense. Mainly me, I gotta do a better job getting guys involved,” said Brownlee.
“It was just our defense. We gave up forty-something points in that third quarter. That’s very unlikely. It’s something that we definitely don’t want to do. If we wanna win moving forward starting on Sunday, we just gotta play our defense and that’s when we’re gonna win games.”