Alab Pilipinas hoping injured Brownlee returns to top form for Game 3
STA. ROSA — San Miguel Alab Pilipinas is keeping its fingers crossed that Justin Brownlee’s injury isn’t serious.
The 29-year-old forward missed some crucial minutes in Game 2 of the ASEAN Basketball League Finals after he felt some pain on his right leg that led to severe cramps.
“I’m not sure, but I was going for the ball and I felt something,” said Brownlee, who finished the game with 14 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in Alab’s 103-100 loss to Mono Vampire. “I’m not sure what it is. But I’ll do some treatment and get some rehab.”
Coach Jimmy Alapag took the safe approach and kept the charismatic forward out of the game for the majority of the fourth quarter.
“He cramped towards the end of the game and I didn’t want to risk,” he said. “It was a pretty bad cramp so you couldn’t really move well, and at that point of the game I don’t want to risk it further. So, we’ll know more (on Thursday), hoping and praying for the best that it is nothing more than that. It’s wait and see.”
Alapag only inserted Brownlee at the 2:32 mark just to take him out in the final minute.
He returned with 15.4 seconds left in the game after Lawrence Domingo fouled out and even had the final say to force overtime. But with him not at his best form, Brownlee missed two triples at the buzzer as Mono Vampire tied the series at one game apiece.
“Coach drew up a great play and I got a clean look and it felt good. It’s very unfortunate I just missed it. That’s what it was,” the Ginebra reinforcement said.
Alapag is just hoping that Brownlee will be at his 100-percent as the championship series shifts to Bangkok for Game 3 on Saturday.
“We’re kind of hopeful that it’s not anything worse. Again, anytime you have a cramp, there’s the potential to pull or strain something more, and with a quick turnaround on Saturday, I didn’t think we can afford to risk it,” said Alapag.