JUSTINE Brownlee didn't actually plan to take charge bigtime for Barangay Ginebra in Game Three of the PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals.
But you can't blame the guy once he began to have a feel for the game.
Brownlee took the most of the opportunity when he found his rythm in the early going and almost singlehandidly carried the Kings to a pulsating 75-72 win over top seed Rain or Shine and move on the verge of making the finals of the midseason conference on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The soft-spoken import erupted for 44 points, including 25 in the first half as the Kings relied on his scoring explosion to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.
Another win in Monday's Game Four gives the Kings a berth in the best-of-seven finals.
"Definitely unexpected," said the Ginebra import of his scoring spree. "But whenever a player gets its going like tonight, I just kept staying agressive."
Brownlee shot 14-of-19 from the floor and was 6-of-8 from three-point range. He added 15 rebounds and six assists.
"I felt good. Everytime I shot, I felt like everything was going in," he said with a big smile on his face.
The Kings, indeed, needed every scoring opportunity from their resident import as they watched Rain or Shine battled back from a 25-point deficit and made a fight out of it.
The victory wasn't in the bag for Ginebra until James Yap missed two potential game-tying three-pointers in the endgame.
"Man, you just saw what type of a team Rain or Shine is," said Brownlee. "They got a lot of great guys, lot of guys who play hard, play physical, and guys who know how to win."
While Brownlee is looking to wrap up the series by next game, he expects a big fightback from Rain or Shine.
"We think we can do it, we think we can win," he said. "But we know its definitely not going to be easy just like Rain or Shine showed tonight. They are very tough and very resilient."