Justin Brownlee hopes to create new memories for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and its legion of supporters when they face the Meralco Bolts in their highly-anticipated rematch for the PBA Governors’ Cup title.
Brownlee made himself a part of Ginebra lore when his buzzer-beating three in Game 6 of last year’s Governors’ Cup finals ended the franchise’s eight-year title drought, a moment that will serve as a backdrop for the series that starts Friday at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.
While the shot heard around the country is something he’ll never forget, Brownlee is willing to set that aside, at least for the next week or two as Ginebra tries to repeat over a Meralco team eager for payback.
“I definitely remember it but I’m just trying to move on from it,” Brownlee said after Ginebra sealed its date with Meralco with a 115-105 victory over TNT KaTropa in their semi-final series that ended Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“A lot of people still talk about it but this is a new year, new conference. Whatever we did last year, it doesn’t matter in this time. I’m just trying to move forward from that. It was a great memory, nothing can take that away but I’m just moving on.”
The eagerness of the former St. John’s University standout to win another title was in full display Sunday when he hit 28 of his PBA career-high 46 points in the second half that enabled Ginebra to rally from an 18-point third deficit against a TNT side that lost import Glen Rice Jr. to ejection in the first quarter.
At one point, Brownlee hit 14 straight points to trigger Ginebra’s big comeback from being down 72-54 early in the third, then conspired with LA Tenorio and Greg Slaughter to pull away in the fourth and complete a 3-1 series victory.
“I didn’t know it was going to be that kind of night. I did feel good but the team, they just gave me great confidence, keeping me aggressive and just telling me to close this thing out,” said Brownlee.
“We did a great job of being aggressive, Greg came off the bench and had a great game, LA he ran the show. It was just a great team effort.” (JT)
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