GINEBRA import Justin Brownlee is bracing for a tough match-up against Renaldo Balkman and San Miguel, especially with his former Alab teammate having someone who he believes is the greatest player to have set foot on a PBA floor.
Just last May, Brownlee and Balkman were 'Batman and Robin' bringing home an Asean Basketball League (ABL) title after Alab beat Thai side Mono Vampire in a best-of-five finals series that went the distance.
Now they're on opposite sides as Ginebra and SMB face off for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship.
“Just a few months ago, me and him was Batman and Robin,” Brownlee said on the match-up with Balkman for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals. “But it’s going to be exciting for the fans. It’s going to be a treat.”
“One of his (Balkman) favorite quotes is, ‘It’s going to be a show,’” added Brownlee.
Brownlee has only good words to say about Balkman as their friendship has blossomed during the ABL campaign. The Ginebra import said his former Alab teammate is perhaps one of the best imports to have played in the PBA.
But what makes the match-up against San Miguel even tougher, according to Brownlee, is that Balkman has four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo in his side.
“Balkman, seeing his talent and skill set, what he can do for them. Probably one of the best imports to play in this league as well,” said Brownlee.
“Fajardo is probably the best player ever to play in the PBA,” Brownlee said. “I don’t know every player that has played here, but I’ve been doing a lot of research. He seems to probably be the best player in the PBA.”
“Just hearing that,” Brownlee added, “it sounds like a very tough road.”
For now, Brownlee said he will be congratulating Balkman for leading San Miguel to the finals.
“First few minutes, I don’t know what the first few minutes is going to be. I’ll probably text him later though, I don’t know what I’ll text him but I’ll probably congratulate him, just tell me ‘It’s on’ and I’ll do the same thing,” said Brownlee.
Then it's off to war, gentlemen.