JUSTIN Brownlee stood behind Joe Devance for his decision to go for a drive instead of taking a wide-open triple late in Ginebra’s 107-103 loss to TNT Katropa in Game Two of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series on Tuesday night.
With the Gin Kings down by two inside the final minute, Devance received a pass from LA Tenorio and found himself wide open from near the left wing as he thought of taking a three-pointer that could’ve given them back the lead.
Instead, the veteran utility man dribbled behind his back as he saw RR Garcia approaching, going for a drive then dropping the leather to Brownlee, whose reverse layup was blocked by Joshua Smith with 30 seconds left, giving the Texters the possession.
Asked if he was surprised that Devance, who hit eight of his 20 three-point attempts for a solid 40-percent shooting in the eliminations, passed up on an open triple, Brownlee said trusted his teammate’s decision.
“Not necessarily surprised, but of course I think he can make that shot whenever he takes it,” Brownlee said. “He must have thought that he had a drive and that's what he did.”
“We trust Joe, we know he can make the right decision and plays,” he added. “He didn't take that shot but we'll move on to the next play.”
The Texters called a timeout that resulted in Smith putting back a Jayson Castro’s short three-point attempt, giving them a two-possession lead and practically sealing their second win in the best-of-five series.
“It's tough man, TNT, I gotta give them credit, they have great focus,” Brownlee said. “It seemed they have a great game plan for us, especially for me, they play defense good, we got the ball moving a little bit but I think we can do better in this series.
“I think we will be better, still adjusting to their team with the big Smith,” the Gin Kings import, who finished with 22 points on 10-of-24 shooting in 43 minutes, added.
Brownlee remains confident the Gin Kings can pull off a revival against the Texters.
“Everything's not going to be perfect like last time,” he added. “Not everything is going that way everytime but the best thing we can do is to control what we can control, coming out in Game Three and just play our hearts out. I think that's the thing we can focus on.”
“I believe in our coach and our team,” Brownlee said. “We wouldn't be here if we’re not confident. I believe in my guys to come out and just play our hearts out, and that's what we're going to look forward.”