Brownlee, Ginebra wary of Magnolia fightback: ‘We have to play a whole lot harder’
MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra may have escaped with the 85-79 Game 1 win against Magnolia in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals, but Justin Brownlee warns of a bigger storm ahead.
The win gave the Gin Kings the upper hand in the three-game series but Brownlee said the Hotshots are just waiting for their opportunity to strike.
“They usually play better after a loss, unlike probably most teams or people do but they’re a championship-caliber team,” said Brownlee Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“We know they’ve won a championship, they’ve been to the finals this past conference, so we’re just expecting another battle.”
Brownlee’s words do bear weight especially with the two teams’ recent history in the quarterfinals of the Philippine Cup.
Ginebra took Game 1, 86-75, in that series only to lose the next two matches allowing the Hotshots to go to the finals, where they lost to eventual champion San Miguel.
“We know that if we want to win the next game, we’re going to have to play a whole lot harder than we did tonight,” said Brownlee who experienced the full brunt of the Hotshots’ defense.
Brownlee averaged 35.9 points, on 55 percent shooting, with 13.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists in the eliminations but he had his troubles against Magnolia’s pestering defense.
Though he had his usual helpings with 16 rebounds and five assists, his scoring took a dip when he put up 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting.
“I obviously didn’t have one of the best games this conference but I think as a team we played great defensively, not giving up too many points and just staying focused on defense even though our offense wasn’t up to par as usual,” said Brownlee.
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