BIÑAN – Justin Brownlee conceded that TNT Katropa was simply the better team in its matchup against Barangay Ginebra in the last day of the PBA Governors’ Cup elimination round on Sunday night.
Refusing to say it was a wake-up call for his squad, the Gin Kings import said they just failed to match the Texters’ production especially early in the match where the No. 1 seed was at stake.
“It’s not a reality check. We knew how good Talk ‘N Text was,” Brownlee said. “Coming into this game, in order to beat those guys, we knew we had to play very well. But they brought their A-game tonight.”
Brownlee almost singlehandedly led Ginebra back as he fired 16 of his 34 points in the final frame, knocking down one three-pointer after another. But the Gin Kings could only come as close as 10 points after trailing by as many as 22 points early in the payoff period.
“We just tried to rally and win the basketball game,” Brownlee said. “But Talk ‘N Text had an answer for everything we brought tonight, so I take my hat off to them.”
[See TNT shows who's No. 1]
The Gin Kings actually kept it a see-saw affair in the first quarter, but could’ve gained the upper hand had Brownlee not been scoreless in the period.
“Early, we just couldn’t make some shots,” the prolific American reinforcement said. “In the second half, we didn’t play good enough defense. We just tried our hardest, but it just wasn’t our night tonight.”
Now, the Gin Kings, even with a twice-to-beat advantage, are bracing for a tough quarterfinal matchup against a dangerous Alaska, which beat them in their elimination-round meeting.
“They beat us, so we definitely want some revenge,” Brownlee said. “We know they’re a great basketball team, got a great coach and basketball players as well.”
“We know it’s going to be tough,” he added. “The playoffs are not easy and we understand that.”