MANILA, Philippines – Without a doubt, Barangay Ginebra reinforcement Justin Brownlee wants to experience that finals feeling again.
It showed as the super import waxed hot for 41 points in a 132-105 romp of NorthPort that gave his side a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five semifinals affair in the PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday, December 18.
"That's our main goal for this conference. It's been over a year since we've been in the finals," he said when asked about reaching the championship round.
"Everybody wants to feel that, just playing in the finals, having the opportunity to win a championship. Getting there just feels great."
Barangay Ginebra won back-to-back Governors' Cup titles in 2016 and 2017 but failed to defend its throne last season as it bowed out to 4 games in the semifinals against eventual champion Magnolia.
Aching to reclaim their lost glory in the season-ending conference, the American import also churned out 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, and 3 steals in what was easily his best outing of the playoffs.
"We just want to feel that feeling [of being in the finals] and hopefully, we have a greater feeling after the finals," Brownlee said.
Although they annihilated NorthPort by a combined 52 points in the last two games, Brownlee said a one-point victory would be enough as long as they close out the series and advance.
"We're not trying to blow a team out. We just try to play well, execute, just try to come out with a good rhythm, and just do whatever we can."
To accomplish its goal, Barangay Ginebra needs to put the clamps on NorthPort "Big Three" Michael Qualls, Christian Standhardinger, and Sean Anthony, just like it did in Games 2 and 3.
"We know their guys are going to come out and play hard, they don't want to be eliminated. We got to expect them to just put it all on the line with their backs against the wall," Brownlee said.
Brownlee and Co. seek to close out the series in Game 4 on Friday, December 20, 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.