JUSTINE Brownlee expected a big San Miguel Beer comeback but was confident Barangay Ginebra would weather the storm this time.
"We knew when we get up against this team we have to expect a comeback because they got a lot a weapons," said the Ginebra import after the Kings' 129-124, win over the Beermen in their PBA Governors Cup showdown on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But unlike their game against NLEX where they lost in overtime after leading by as many as 28 points, Brownlee and the Kings knew what to do this time.
"We just knew that if we stick to our defense, we'll be able to pull it off," he stressed.
The Kings did just that.
After the Beermen trimmed an 18-point deficit to just two points at 111-113, the Kings held the opposition to just three markers while racking up 11 points on their own to sail to safer grounds, 122-116.
And after a crucial mental lapse in the final 28 seconds on the part of Arwind Santos following a delay of the game violation that resulted in a technical free throw, the Kings survived a gutsy stand by the Beermen to get back on the winning track.
"Give a lot of credit to the team, they hit some big shots. LA, (Tenorio), Stanley (Pringle) had a big game, Japeth (Aguilar), and Greg (Slaughter), his presence was huge," said Brownlee.
But the Ginebra import himself was huge after posting a second straight triple-double with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 14 assists.
"I hope it can be a norm but man it's very tough," he said of his back-to-back triple-doubles.
"But I credit that to the group. That 14 assists I credited that to the team."
Not lost on Brownlee though was how San Miguel counterpart Dezmine Wells lit up the scoreboard for 52 points in a losing cause for the Beermen (4-1).
"Their import Dezmine was just incredible. He had 50 points and the way he did it," he said.