MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee could do no wrong with a masterful near triple-double showing in Barangay Ginebra's 127-99 Game 1 win over San Miguel in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals.
The American import erupted for 42 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds and two blocks in a game that saw him shoot a mind-boggling 17-of-19 from the field and 5-of-5 from deep while committing just two turnovers in nearly 40 minutes.
It was a performance worthy of praise, and Ginebra teammate LA Tenorio had one of the biggest compliments for Brownlee.
"Well, syempre biased ako, teammate ko siya. For me, he's the best import na nakasama ko talaga sa buong career ko sa PBA. I can't say anything more kay Justin," said Tenorio.
(Of course, I'm biased because he's my teammate. For me, he's the best import that I played with in my entire PBA career. I can't say anything more about Justin.)
Tenorio had played with the likes of Diamon Simpson, a member of Alaska Aces' 30 Greatest Players and a PBA champion, and former NBA players Orlando Johnson, Vernon Macklin, Cedrick Bozeman and Othyus Jeffers.
But Tenorio's sentiments are understable as Brownlee has already led the Gin Kings to two PBA championships. And now, he has a chance to make it 3 just two years playing in the league.
The 30-year-old import has also time and again proven to be a steady force on both ends of the floor, messing with triple-doubles every night out.
Just like last July 21, Brownlee exploded for 44 points on top of 15 rebounds, 6 assists in 5 steals in Ginebra's 75-72 Game 3 win over Rain or Shine in their best-of-5 semifinals series.
It was his second 40-point night in 3 games and Brownlee looks like he is not stopping anytime soon as the best-of-7 affair progresses.
But what makes him the best for Tenorio is not just his on-court dominance, but also his off-court demeanor.
"Obvious naman e, kita niyo naman paano siya. On and off the court, walang masasabi kay Justin. For me, he's the best import na nakasama ko sa buong career ko sa PBA."
(It's obvious, you can see how he is with people. On and off the court, you can't say anything bad about him. For me, he's the best import that I've played with in my PBA career.)
The Gin Kings need Brownlee to continue his impeccable play as they shoot for a 2-0 lead in Game 2 on Sunday, July 29, 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.