JUSTIN Brownlee came though like he always has for Barangay Ginebra, lifting his team to a 103-102 victory over Alaska to sustain its momentum in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings import completed a late three-point play that spared his team's blushes after they saw the Aces make a late comeback and almost steal the game.
Thanks to his heroics, the Gin Kings stretched their win streak to five games after starting the conference with a loss, whiles dealing the Aces their third straight loss after starting the tournament with four successive wins.
“We certainly battled through a lot of adversity that game,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said.
“But Justin was just being Justin,” he added. “He’s just such an intelligent player.”
Brownlee put up another all-around performance of a game-high 37 points, 14 boards, six assists, four blocks, and three steals.
And the do-it-all reinforcement needed every single one of his numbers.
After all, the Gin Kings saw their sizeable lead that grew to as many as 13 points disappear after letting the Aces mount on a fightback in the fourth quarter where they outscored Ginebra, 26-16.
Cory Jefferson registered 25 points and 18 boards, scoring five straight in back-to-back possessions that gave the Aces a 101-95 lead with a little over three minutes left.
But Joe Devance retaliated with a layup off nifty ball movement, before Kevin Ferrer knocked down a triple to pull the Gin Kings to within one, 101-100. Chris Banchero then split his charities for Alaska that set the stage for Brownlee’s heroics.
Brownlee drove past Jefferson then leaned in for the layup and draw a foul, with the free throw he converted.
The imports switched places on the other end, but Jefferson missed a midrange jumper over Brownlee, before JVee Casio missed a potential game-winning trey for the Aces.
GINEBRA 103 – Brownlee 37, Devance 12, Tenorio 11, Thompson 11, Caguioa 10, Ferrer 6, Mercado 6, Ellis 6, Marcelo 4, Cruz 0
ALASKA 102 – Jefferson 25, Manuel 13, Casio 12, Thoss 9, Banchero 9, Hontiveros 9, Racal 8, Exciminiano 7, Enciso 6, Pascual 4, Andrada 0, Mendoza 0
Quarterscores: 32-30, 57-56, 87-76, 103-102