MANILA, Philippines – It is usually in the endgame when Justin Brownlee works his magic, but he could not cast his typical fourth-quarter spell after being hounded by Terrence Jones.
Brownlee was surprisingly limited to a single point in the payoff period as Barangay Ginebra absorbed a frustrating 92-95 loss to TNT in Game 1 of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals series on Friday, July 26.
That may have a lot to do with Brownlee not foreseeing that Jones – 5 inches taller than him – would pick him up on the defense for almost the entire final frame, where he shot only 3 field goals and missed all of them.
After all, Jones was already in foul trouble, picking up his fourth foul through 3 quarters.
"Just got to give a lot of credit to Talk 'N Text, I think they did a really good job, especially Jones. He came out and defended me very well," said Brownlee, who still finished with 23 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists, and 5 steals.
"We didn't expect that and I didn't either. But like I said, he did a really good job. I didn't expect that and just got to give a lot of credit to him because that could have been a difference-maker."
Even on the final shot, Jones did not let Brownlee out of his sight.
With Ginebra down by 3 points in the last 10 seconds, Brownlee was expected to take what could have been the game-tying three-pointer.
But Jones did just enough to deny Brownlee the ball before switching defensive assignments with Jayson Castro as Ginebra went to Joe Devance, whose triple try fell short as time expired.
"He did a lot of good things for them down the stretch in the 4th quarter," Brownlee added of Jones.
Brownlee and Ginebra eye to tie the best-of-five series when they meet Jones and TNT in Game 2 on Sunday, July 28, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.