Last thing Brownlee expects in PBA Finals is another blowout

MANILA, Philippines – The last thing Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee anticipates from the rest of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup is another blowout, be it a win or a loss.

Brownlee said the best-of-7 duel is bound to get grittier after the first two games ended with a combined winning margin of 53 points.

The Gin Kings humiliated the Beermen with a 28-point drubbing in Game 1 before San Miguel returned the favor by giving Ginebra a 25-point beating in Game 2 on Sunday, July 29, to level the series at 1-1. 

"Well, I'm sure neither team probably expects anybody to win a big margin like that – like we won in Game 1 and like how they won tonight," the American import said after Game 2. 

"But just from the beginning of the series, we expect it to be hard, tough, and we expect every game to be close. The only thing we expect is to come out with a one-point win."

Browlee was like a man possessed when he poured in 42 points on a 17-of-19 shooting to go with 9 assists, 7 rebounds and two blocks to power the Gin Kings to a 127-99 triumph in the series opener.

While no one from the Beermen duplicated Brownlee's masterful performance in their 134-109 Game 2 triumph, they had 5 players scoring at least 20 points and 6 overall finishing in double figures.

It was a rare sight for the league since the last time 4 local teammates chipped in at least 20 points apiece in a game was Game 4 of the 1997 All-Filipino Cup finals, according to league chief statistician Fidel Mangonon.

For Brownlee, it was just San Miguel being San Miguel – the team that won 6 championships in the last 10 conferences. (READ: Ginebra's Tim Cone expects 'chippier' battle as PBA finals progresses)

"Man, the defending champs happened," he said. "They came out and played tough, played very hard and tonight, showed why they're winning a lot of championships in the past."

Brownle and Ginebra aim for a bounce back performance in Game 3 on Wednesday, August 1, at the Araneta Coliseum. –


Delfin Dioquino

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.