BROUGHT back to save Ginebra's flailing campaign in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup, Justin Brownlee's comeback game didn't really end up the way a lot of fans envisioned it to be.
Though the do-it-all reinforcement finished with a triple-double of 20 points, 16 rebounds, and 12 assists, his effort weren't enough to save the Gin Kings from losing to Meralco, 93-82 on Friday night.
Brownlee later paid tribute to the Bolts.
"Meralco played a great game, seemed like they had us figured out. They shot the ball pretty well, and they defended us really well, so give a lot of credit to them," Brownlee said.
Brownlee's arrival in favor of Charles Garcia was expected to recharge Ginebra, but it didn't happen as the Gin Kings collectively shot 39 percent from the field, a far cry from the Bolts' efficient 50-percent clip.
That lack of energy didn't escape the import's attention, with Brownlee noting, "It just seemed like the energy level they had outmatched us, and that was the main thing."
"I think we have to come out with more energy and more focus on what we wanna do defensively and offensively."
With Ginebra dropping to a 1-4 slate, Brownlee knows that there's no more room for letdowns, especially with a heavyweight clash against San Miguel set on Sunday.
"Right now, we gotta be urgent about it. We can’t be lackadaisical, we have to play with a lot of urgency," said the import who led Ginebra to the past two Governors Cup championships.
Brownlee doesn't need much pep talk to be fired up for the next game, since it will pit him against Renaldo Balkman, his former teammate at San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
"We got a handful with him," he said. "He's an incredible player, he can definitely score the basketball, he’s a defender who can get his hands on the ball, so we definitely got our hands full."
"I can’t wait for the challenge."