Add another one to Justin Brownlee’s magic bag of clutch tricks

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 23, 2018 02:04 PM
Add another one to Brownlee’s magic bag of clutch tricks
Justin Brownlee came up clutch for the nth time - and that's no longer a surprise for us Filipinos

STA. ROSA, LAGUNA – Alab Pilipinas would have dropped Game 1 of the 2017-2018 Asean Basketball League Finals at home if not for Justin Brownlee.

The Filipinos were down by two with four ticks to go in the clock before Brownlee fished a foul that sent him to the line.

There, he muffed his first free throw, but immediately made up for it by making a heads-up play –making sure his second attempt grazed just enough of the rim.

It did and it was again the American import who got the offensive rebound. While his short stab didn’t go in, Renaldo Balkman was there to clean up the mess and force overtime.

In the extra period, there was just no stopping the Philippines’ reinforcements.

And so, we have to repeat it again, Alab would have dropped Game 1 of the 2017-2018 ABL Finals at home if not for Justin Brownlee

That’s no longer surprise for Filipinos, though.

Brownlee has hit clutch shot after clutch shot to grant crowd favorite Ginebra its first championships since 2008.

He has only brought those magic hands in the ABL and even opposing coach Douglas Marty of Thailand’s Mono is no longer surprised about it. As he put it, through chuckles, “Yeah, we know what he’s capable off. We gotta do better next time.”

Indeed, it was the six-foot-seven forward’s heads-up play that kept the fire burning for Alab.

And in the extra period, he finished the job, unloading 10 points and combining with Balkman, outscoring all of Mono, 18-9.

In the end, Brownlee had a Finals-record 46 points to his name to go along with 11 rebounds and nine assists.

Yes, he flirted a triple-double all while making the biggest plays of, arguably, the season, and, undoubtedly, the championship round. Talking about his heads-up play at the end of regulation, he told reporters, “I’ve been in those situations a couple of times before. I just try to get it off the rim and try to bounce it to one of my teammates or myself,” he shared.

He then continued, “Luckily, it bounced off to me.”

Still, staying humble, the 30-year-old said the game would have been over if not for his running mate. “We’re a team that depends on each other. One man can’t do it. I’m still knocking myself for missing those free throws,” he said.

He then continued, “But it’s a team sport. I missed those free throws and the putback, but Balk was there.”

Brownlee and the Filipinos are eyeing an encore in Game 2 on Wednesday. As always, the 2017-2018 ABL Finals will be LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on S+A, S+A HD, and livestream.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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