JUSTIN Brownlee was right in the middle of two controversial plays marred by non-calls that went the Singapore Slingers’ way in a 90-80 win over Alab Pilipinas on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Brownlee appeared to have forced Xavier Alexander into a travelling violation when he contested the latter’s shot attempt, forcing the Slingers import to put the ball back on the floor after taking off for a jumper.
Alexander then attacked Brownlee and made a tough high-looping jumper which the referees ruled should count, even though TV replays showed the shotclock had already expired before he could let go of the ball.
Still, Brownlee redused to pin the blame on officiating after the defeat that ended Alab's three-game win streak.
“You can’t control that. The refs are not perfect, I’m not a perfect basketball player so they make mistakes,” said Brownlee, who finished with 16 points as he tasted his first defeat as an Alab import.
“They try to do their best and I’ll try to do my best because that’s what I can control,” he added.
Instead of sulking over the non-calls, Brownlee tipped his hat to Singapore for going to the Philippines with much more intensity and outplaying Alab right in its home court.
“They were just hungrier than us. You know, losing a few nights ago, it showed. It’s just that they came out more intense. They wanted it more tonight, that was the big difference,” Brownlee continued.
A three-game win streak may have also lulled Alab into complacency, Brownlee said.
“I think we relaxed a little bit,” said Brownlee. “Coming off a couple of wins, by human nature, you tend to do that. Hopefully we can get our rhythm back.”
Alab fans need not to worry, though, as the 6-foot-5 do-it-all wingman believes they’ll only get better as a team after the defeat.
On a personal level, he believes that he’s just beginning to get a grasp of Alapag’s system.
“I think I’m adjusting well. The team is helping me in communicating and we have a good time,” Brownlee said. “We just need to win more and get our rhythm back.”