JUSTIN Brownlee can heave a sigh of relief with Barangay Ginebra having size advantage over TNT for a change in this PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals after being at a disadvantage their last postseason matchup.
After losing to a Texters side that paraded burly Joshua Smith in the Commissioner’s Cup Final Four in four games, the Gin Kings have the size edge this time with a healthy Greg Slaughter reinforcing the squad that already has Japeth Aguilar and Joe Devance.
Playing out of position in the midseason tournament, the 6-foot-5 Brownlee has slid down to his natural wing spot this conference and continued to thrive on Monday night when he registered 21 points, eight boards, five assists, three steals, and one block in just 28 minutes.
“What goes around comes around,” Brownlee said with a chuckle after their 121-94 win in Game One. “Hopefully we just continue to take advantage of it. We got Greg and Japeth down there, every chance we get, we want to take advantage of that for sure.”
“But we know TNT is a tough team, they will come out and make adjustments and we just gotta be prepared,” he added. “Whatever we're running, we just gotta run it with great purpose and do what we want to do.”
One thing the Gin Kings have to be consistent is their defense that limited the Texters to 40-percent shooting and forced them to commit 22 errors.
“We do a few things differently offensively but I think the main thing is just coming out with a lot of aggression on defense – not being timid or not being laid back on defense,” Brownlee said. “We're just trying to get after guys, try to pressure them and try to dictate how we want to defend them instead of them dictating on how they want to attack us.”
The Gin Kings’ defense is focused on Glen Rice Jr. and Jayson Castro, who combined to commit 13 turnovers.
“We really wanted to key in on those guys, they do a lot for their team offensively,” Brownlee said. “Luckily they didn't hit some of the shots today like they did the game before when we played the first time."
“We'll try to keep defending them the best way we can and try to force them into things they don't usually do,” he added.