LA Tenorio pointed to Magnolia’s trademark defense – and not an injury – that led to Justin Brownlee’s limited attempts in Barangay Ginebra’s 87-84 win in Game One of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals on Wednesday night.
Tenorio on Justin Brownlee's limited attempts
Brownlee played over 46 minutes, but was held to just seven shots and 11 points – the second-lowest output in his PBA career or since scoring 10 in Game Four of the 2016 Governors’ Cup Finals, a game that Ginebra still won, 88-86, behind Jayjay Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa.
“I don’t think hindi siya aggressive,” Tenorio insisted of Brownlee. “You just have to give credit sa defense ng Magnolia. Talagang they really planned on how to play Justin. Probably alam na alam na nila paano laruin si Justin and they have players to match up against Justin.”
Tenorio, who scored six points, including a triple that moved him up to solo third on the all-time three-point scoring list, doesn’t mind seeing Brownlee occasionally have off nights on scoring, knowing the resident import will still make the right decisions.
“Binabasa ni Justin din eh,” Tenorio said. “Si Justin is a kind of import who doesn’t force things. Kilala naman natin siya. That’s why he’s one of the best imports – it’s not because of his scoring, but because of his leadership as an import. He trusts the locals and his teammates.
“That’s why he’s very successful with us,” he added of the five-time PBA champion import . “Kasi ganun yung type of game namin eh. Hindi naman kami one-man team eh.”
Jamie Malonzo, Scottie Thompson, and Christian Standhardinger carried most of the scoring load as the Gin Kings held off a Chicken Timplados side that played without an import starting at the six-minute, 31-second mark of the third quarter when Nick Rakocevic was ejected following a flagrant foul 1.
Tenorio, though, still expects Brownlee, who averaged 28.2 points in the eliminations, to solve the Magnolia defensive puzzle and get back to his usual scoring ways.
“We just have to see kung anong mga ginagawa ng Magnolia sa kanya. Kasi buong series, hindi siya pwedeng seven attempts lang, ‘di ba? And I’m sure makikita niya yun.”