ANTIPOLO – Justin Brownlee heaved a sigh of relief after his missed charities nearly cost Ginebra the game against Meralco as Cliff Hodge failed to catch a pass from Chris Newsome in the endgame of the Gin Kings’ 90-89 win on Sunday night.
Brownlee delivered as usual with 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting to go with nine boards, and three assists in almost 44 minutes. But he botched two free throws with 6.6 seconds to go that left the door open for the Bolts to the win the game.
“Sometimes it happens,” the Gin Kings import said. “Of course I tried to make them, but I’m not perfect.”
“I’m glad our team defense really came through in that fourth quarter,” he added. “Also, give a lot of credit to Meralco, they came out and played incredible defense, incredibly tough tonight. I’m just glad we could pull a win tonight.”
Trailing by just one after Brownlee’s missed freebies, the Bolts had one last chance to get ahead, but Newsome slightly overcooked a crosscourt past to Hodge, who missed catching the leather by a hair in the play where he could’ve taken a transition layup.
“It seemed like he was pretty open,” Brownlee said of Hodge. “I think Newsome just overthrew it just a little bit. We were just fortunate on that play, because if they connected on that play, that put them in a great position to win the game.
“I’m just happy he turned the ball over that time,” he added.
The clothing company that did Ginebra’s retro jersey also committed an error as it separated Brownlee’s name, writing it out as “BROWN LEE.”
Not that Brownlee noticed.
“I didn’t even notice that. But a lot of people make that mistake with my name, so I’m used to it,” Brownlee said.
Good thing those mistakes didn’t cost them the win.