JUSTIN Brownlee credited Tim Cone and his teammates for helping him find his rhythm and fire on all cylinders as Ginebra routed San Miguel in the opener of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals.
Brownlee had 42 points, making all but two shots from the field for his second 40-point output in the last three games.
Brownlee said he only did what Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone has been instructing them to do during the playoffs.
“Coach has been talking about this playoffs that we have to come out and try to be aggressive. I just want to do that, come out aggressive, look for my teammates, and just try to take advantage of every advantage I had. Luckily, I had my shots going and had a good rhythm,” said Brownlee.
Cone isn’t surprised.
“It seems like that way all the time,” Cone said.
“We get a tremendous lift from Justin. In the last series against Rain or Shine, they had Gabe Norwood guarding him the whole time, and Gabe is an outstanding defensive player. He's been the stopper all the way through the national team, all the way in the Gilas games, he's the No. 1 stopper.
“Justin was able to put up 44, 46 points against Rain or Shine, and that's amazing. It just goes to show how tough he is to guard. It's really hard,” said Cone.
Brownlee already had 18 points in the first quarter, just two off San Miguel’s total output. By the end of the first half, Brownlee only missed one shot, going 12 of 13 from the field.
“I like to credit the offense that coach Tim gave us. His offense, you know, a lot of different reads and things you can do out of it. I try to mix it up and my teammates, they always try to find me whether giving me a nice pass or a good screen. Just motivating me, they want me to score. They want me to be aggressive. I like it and I try to embrace it,” said Brownlee.
“I’ve just been trying to take whatever the defense give me, and try to stay aggressive. Coach always preaches that especially in the playoffs so I’m just staying aggressive,” he said.
Brownlee said he expects San Miguel to step up on defense for Game Two.
“Definitely, different game from this game,” said Brownlee. “We know that they don’t want to go down 2-0 just like everybody else. We expect them to play physical, defend, play hard on defense, and that’s pretty much what they are going to do.”