A halftime pep talk by Tim Cone somehow cleared the cobwebs on Barangay Ginebra’s minds.
After finally settling down, the Kings got their acts in the second half to rally from an 18-point deficit and averted a Magnolia Hotshots sweep of the PBA Governors Cup semifinals series, 107-103, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.
Import Justin Brownlee led the Ginebra charge starting the third period, scoring 18 of the team’s 37 points in the period to steer the Kings back into life and trail by just 79-81 entering the final quarter.
He ended up tying his league-career high of 46 points as the Kings finally broke through in the best-of-five series, though they still trail the Hotshots, 1-2.
Brownlee said Cone’s calming words at the break somehow helped the team loosened up after obviously playing tight in the first half, where they shot just 39 percent from the floor and outrebounded, 24-29.
“Coach Tim came into the locker and kind hit the reset button for us,” said the prolific import. “He let us clear our minds, he turned off the lights a little bit by clearing our minds.
“We just came out with a fresh mind,” added Brownlee. “No matter what kind of run they made or whatever pressure they threw at us, if we stick together and stay positive, I think we’ll be alright and we’ll overcome any adversity that we had.”
Brownlee also added 19 rebounds and five assists as he completely emerged the better player of his match-up with Magnolia counterpart Romeo Travis, who was held to a league-career low of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
That Ginebra never-say-die attitude of course, also came into fore for the Kings.
“That never-say-die attitude and the fans, they got into the game and gave us the boost and the energy that got us going. We just want to keep on going.”