IT’S a do-or-die game for a berth in the PBA Governors Cup finals, but for Ginebra import Justin Brownlee, he just wants to enjoy every minute, every moment, even if the stakes are high.
“It’s going to be a fun game to watch,” said the soft-spoken reinforcement, cool as a cucumber and seemingly oblivious to the pressure ahead of the 7 p.m. match between the third-seeded Kings and the reigning champion San Miguel Beermen on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I’m praying for a lot of fans to watch.’
The Beermen set the stage for the deciding match of this best-of-five series after dealing the Kings a sound beating, 101-72, on Sunday that knotted the count at 2-games apiece before a crowd of more than 22,000 fans also at the Big Dome.
For Brownlee to enjoy the death match, he said the Kings need to avoid another slow start just like they had in the Game Four blowout, where they fell by as much as a 26-point deficit at the half.
The Ginebra import, along with LA Tenorio, were the only bright spots in a Ginebra team that shot a measly 29 percent from the field (26 of 89). Brownlee finished with 28 points and five rebounds, while Tenorio was the only local to hit double figures with 17, and added five rebounds and three assists.
“We’ve got to come out, play hard, stay focused, and not let this game take us down,” said Brownlee, who’s been to several do-or-die games before while playing in Europe and the NBA D-League.
“We definitely have to do a lot better. It’s going to be a close, hard fought game, and we have to be ready. We can’t afford to have another slow start.”
Coach Tim Cone is also looking forward to playing in his first ‘You or I’ game for the Kings since losing to Globalport in a playoff for a berth in the Philippine Cup semifinals early this season.
“We’re obviously doing an uphill battle. But it’s now coming down to all the marbles which is usually what happens in a series,” said the multi-titled coach, who’s in his first year with the league’s most popular ballclub.
“We’ll gonna feel fortunate that we’re getting a Game Five and we’re playing a Game Five.”