Justin Brownlee picked up from where he left off to lead Brgy. Ginebra to a 80-77 come-from-behind win over Alaska as the Gin Kings jumpstarted their 2021 PBA Governor’s Cup campaign on the right note.
Brownlee registered a 28-point,10-rebound double-double in his first game back in the country since 2019 as he hit a crucial lay-up to tie the game at 73-all before teammate Stanley Pringle completed Ginebra’s seven-point, fourth quarter comeback with a go-ahead shot.
With another dominant performance, Ginebra coach Tim Cone lauded Brownlee on his ability to play in short notice and being able to blend well with big man Christian Standhardinger on the defensive end in their first game together as teammates.
“Justin has only been here for eight to nine days. We haven’t had a lot of time with him but I thought he played some really good music with Christian today,” Cone admitted.
While seeing a few new faces in his return, Brownlee didn’t seem to bother with it at all.
“We have Christian, couple of young guys, different look, couple of new faces, but they came in and bought in to the system very well and blended with the team,” Brownlee said. “That’s good playing with those guys.”
Cone, the winningest coach in PBA history, also bared that Standhardinger’s presence inside the court was able to put the pressure off Brownlee on guarding Aces import Olu Ashaolu.
“I thought Christian was such a huge factor in terms of guarding Olu Ashaolu. He took on the challenge all game long. It was a very physical battle. Those guys were going at it,” the multi-titled coach added.
Moreover, Cone was elated to see his prized import in top form in his fifth tour of duty for Ginebra.
“He works really hard on his diet,” Cone said. “He’s really, really disciplined. He came in good shape, considering all of us, we weren’t able to do team practices for quite a while so we really had to do a lot of individual work.”