JUSTIN Brownlee is confident Barangay Ginebra can immediately move on from a stunning 121-92 loss to a hot-shooting TNT KaTropa on Saturday night at the end of their PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations campaign.
After all, history is on their side.
In a way a déjà vu, the Gin Kings also lost their last game of the regular season of the last edition of the season-ending conference – to the same team and likewise by double digits, a 104-92 decision last September 18, 2016 in Biñan, Laguna.
And we all knew what happened after that: the Gin Kings went all the way to rule the season-ending conference to end an eight-year title drought.
So that what makes Brownlee optimistic they can pull it off again and jumpstart their postseason campaign.
“If I’m not mistaken, I think we ended last year too with a loss, so hopefully this loss can motivate us,” Brownlee said after the game. “We, of course, didn’t want to end like this, but I think this loss is going to motivate the team and is going to prepare us for the playoffs.”
Brownlee registered 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting, 14 boards, four assists, and three steals in 37 minutes, but it was his TNT counterpart in Glen Rice Jr. who shone brighter and tore the Ginebra defense apart with his six treys and 36 points, including half in the third quarter.
“Man, that dude, he was unstoppable in the third quarter,” Brownlee said of the former NBA player. “I knew what type of player he was. We had a certain way we wanted to guard him. We knew him driving to the basket would hurt our defense.”
“Of course we didn’t want to give up that many threes, but he made a lot of three-point shots and made it tough for us,” he added.
Despite losing two of their last three games and finishing the eliminations at 8-3, the Gin Kings are still in contention for a Top Four berth if Star (6-4) beats NLEX (7-3) on Sunday.
“We didn’t end very well, losing two out of three, but we still got a shot to make twice to beat, so we’re hoping we can finish Top Four,” Brownlee said.