PBA: Balkman says it’s hard to stop red-hot Brownlee
Mark Escarlote on Jul 28, 2018 12:28 AM
(Justin) Brownlee had a great game. It's hard to stop a player who's not missing shots -- SMB import Renaldo Balkman
Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee and San Miguel Beer reinforcement Renaldo Balkman played their hearts out as the former teammates led their respective teams Friday in Game 1 of the best-of-seven 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
But it was Brownlee who stood out as he starred in the Gin Kings 127-99 blowout win over the Beermen at the Big Dome.
Brownlee was unstoppable as he punched 42 points, 29 in the first half alone, as Ginebra cruised to a surprisingly easy win.
“They came out there with a bang. Brownlee had a great game. It's hard to stop a player who's not missing shots,” said Balkman of his partner in Alab-Pilipinas’ championship run in the ABL early this year.
Brownlee shot 17-of-19 from the field including a perfect five-of-five behind the arc while adding nine assists and seven rebounds.
Balkman himself performed well with 27 points and 13 boards for the Beermen, but his effort went down the drain with Ginebra dismantling them early with a relentless scoring clinic anchored by good buddy Brownlee.
Playing in the biggest stage against each other, Brownlee admitted it felt a little weird with Balkman guarding him.
“At first, you know cause that’s my boy. We brothers. At first it’s a little different cause friends, when they bump heads, it could get difficult,” said Brownlee, who posted 18 points in the first quarter on an 8-of-8 shooting clip.
“But right now, he’s on SMB and I’m on Ginebra. His competitiveness definitely showed tonight and me as well,” added Brownlee.
Game 2 of the series is on Sunday.
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