ANTIPOLO CITY – Justine Brownlee is embracing the challenge after two-time champion Barangay Ginebra lost Game One of the PBA Governors Cup semifinals series to Magnolia on Saturday night.
The prolific import said the 106-98 Game One loss on Saturday at the Ynares Center should test the team’s ‘Never-Say-Die’ character.
The Kings rallied from a 79-55 deficit in the third quarter and came within two points entering the stretch run, only to be turned back by a telling run by the Hotshots anchored on Paul Lee and import Romeo Travis.
“We’re just looking forward to it. It’s a challenge for us losing Game One, so we’ll try to see how we’ll bounce back,” said Brownlee, who had a near triple-double of 37 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists in a losing cause for Ginebra.
“I’m sure we’re going to make some adjustments and try to execute our game plan better.”
Brownlee came out sizzling off the block, exploding for 20 points in the opening period alone. But he somehow slowed down in the next two quarters before leading a Kings rally that fell short in the end.
The 30-year-old Ginebra import preached the need for him to stay consistent, especially in taking care of the basketball after committing five of the team’s 22 turnovers.
“I think I had too many turnovers,” he said. “But I’ll just try to still play my game, try to be aggressive, and try to make better passes for my teammates.”
Brownlee also acknowledged the effort done by Travis for the Hotshots, describing the Magnola import as a ‘big-time’ player.
Travis had nine of his team-high 37 points in the fourth quarter and shot 15-of-25 from the field. The former high school teammate of LeBron James at St Vincent-St. Mary also added 16 rebounds and five assists.
Brownlee said the Kings need to do a better defensive job on Travis for the Kings to even the best-of-five semifinals.
“We expect him to play that way. Unfortunately, he hits some big shots (against us). Hopefully the next game, we can contain him better though,” said the Ginebra import.
Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra play Game 2 of the series on Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.