Brownlee against SMB: The twice-to-beat, it was huge for us
Paul Lintag on Sep 27, 2017 10:32 PM
Ginebra was presented of the perfect opportunity to eliminate San Miguel in the Governors' Cup playoffs. Justin Brownlee and the rest of the Gin Kings didn't waste it.
The main storyline of the Governors' Cup quarterfinals matchup between Ginebra and San Miguel was the Gin Kings' bid for back-to-back titles vs. the Beermen's Grand Slam chase.
Something had to give and unfortunately for the flagship SMC franchise, their Grand Slam count remains at only one.
With Ginebra's rousing victory Wednesday night, a twice-to-beat edge certainly helped the Gin Kings big time, easing their pressure by just a little bit.
Ironically, Ginebra has Govs' Cup rival Meralco to thank for its playoff bonus. As a matter of fact, the Gin Kings can also send a thank you note to sister team Star.
Just last Sunday, the Bolts took care of San Miguel to wrap up the elimination round. If the Beermen won that game, they would be a top-2 seed and Ginebra will face Star in the quarterfinals.
And you all know that crazy things happen everytime there's Manila Clasico in the playoffs.
Instead, Ginebra secured the no. 3 seed with the Meralco win and made the most out of its unexpected blessing.
"The twice-to-beat, it was huge for us," import Justin Brownlee said after the Gin Kings eliminated San Miguel following a convincing 104-84 win.
"Anytime you get an advantage over a team like that [Beermen], coach [Tim] he always tells us to take advantage of opportunities. Tonight, we had one of the biggest opportunities all conference long and we took advantage of it," he added.
The turning point of the game obviously came in the second quarter when Brownlee fired 16 points, breaking the game wide open in favor of the defending champions.
Brownlee, who is in his third stint with the barangay, said that there were specifc instruction on him to set the tone early. And he did.
"Coach wanted me to come out and be aggressive, don't leaving nothing on the floor and just go all out," Brownlee said after finishing with 37 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks.
"That was our main thing, just come out aggressive from the first to the fourth quarter. I think we did a great job on both ends but especially on defense. It gave us the opportunity to separate," he added.
With another trip to the semifnals, Brownlee is looking forward to continue winning and complete Ginebra's title defense.
"At this point, it don't even matter. I was actually looking at the first half of the Rain or Shine-TNT game and Rain or Shine is playing at a high level. We all know what TNT can do so either way it goes, it's going to be a tough fight," he said on their potential opponents in the next round.
"We're not hoping for either team, it don't matter who we play, we'll try to win," he added.
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