Newsome, Meralco look to do better job of shutting down Brownlee
MANILA, Philippines—There’s always that one constant when Barangay Ginebra gets in a pinch, and that is Justin Brownlee saving the day.
The Gin Kings to an early lead after 91-87 win over Meralco of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals and Brownlee had another outstanding performance to carry Ginebra anew.
“I know some of the locals for Ginebra didn’t have their best day but Justin was able to carry them so we got to find a way to complete the job,” said Bolts forward Chris Newsome. “You know, shut down the locals and make it as hard for Justin.”
Brownlee was as offensive-minded as ever scoring 38 points, on 13-of-27 shooting, and grabbing 16 rebounds.
LA Tenorio, Stanley Pringle, and Japeth Aguilar also scored in double digits but it was Brownlee who always delivered on the offensive end in crunch time.
With the game going to the free-throw line in the final 1:30, Brownlee calmly converted from the stripe and scored five of the Gin Kings’ final six points.
Aguilar, though, stepped up on the defensive side.
Aguilar thwarted Meralco import Allen Durham’s driving layup with around 13 seconds left preserving Ginebra’s 89-87 lead before Brownlee iced the game from the charity stripe.
Despite the loss, Newsome liked the fight his team displayed against the Gin Kings who had beaten them twice in the finals in 2016 and 2017.
Newsome, who had nine of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, said he was impressed with how he and his team was able to limit Ginebra’s assist totals below 20.
Ginebra averaged around 27 assists a game prior to Game 1 but that number dropped drastically to 16 and Newsome hopes the Bolts can continue to stifle the Gin Kings’ offense and limit open looks.
“I think we did a good job limiting their assists, they’re known for having a lot of assists and I think they’re below 20 if I’m not mistaken,” said Newsome. “I hope we can keep that going into the next game.”