IN a PBA battle between former Alab Pilipinas imports, it was Renaldo Balkman who came out as the winner over Justin Brownlee.
Balkman was stellar on Sunday, contributing 27 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks in San Miguel’s 104-97 overtime victory over Barangay Ginebra in the Commissioner's Cup.
Brownlee was equally impressive, finishing with 18 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, and five blocks, but it came in a losing effort as the Kings fell to their third straight loss.
Balkman, however, is quick to move on especially with San Miguel playing back-to-back playdates.
“I told him good game,” said Balkman. “Like I said, may the best man win. He is still my brother. We have to go in tomorrow, go to practice, and be ready for the next game.”
For his part, Brownlee lauded the effort of Balkman as well as the rest of the Beermen on Sunday night.
“Like he said, it’s going to be a show. Hopefully, the fans enjoyed it. I treated it like any other game rather than playing against my brother. But it’s fun. They played tough and they deserved it,” Brownlee said.
Balkman said he focused on the team victory than his individual match-up with Brownlee.
“It’s a great match-up. It was two guys playing hard, two guys in a must-win, and I came out with the win. But it’s not me and Brownlee. It’s a team game,” said Balkman.
“A lot of people saying me versus him. I didn’t see it like that. I’m a team player. I’m going to get my team involved. Same with him. I’m sure it’s the same way,” he added.
Balkman’s double-double no longer surprised Brownlee.
“Pretty fun. But being on the losing end, I knew he is going to be competitive, relentless, and he kept attacking us and kept going,” said Brownlee.
Watching from courtside of the Balkman-Brownlee matchup were Alab Pilipinas coach Jimmy Alapag, team owner Charlie Dy, and Bobby Ray Parks
Balkman and Brownlee were glad they were in attendance for the game.
“It was great seeing them again because they motivated me. They call me sometimes in my downtime, I still go to the gym and work out with them. It’s a motivation for me. It means a lot for me,” said Balkman.
Brownlee said: “We talked about it last week. I was definitely expecting them to be here. It was great to see those guys showing support not only for me but for him as well.”