Brownlee picks up where he left off, leads Ginebra in opener
MANILA, Philippines—Things might have changed with his team but Justin Brownlee still felt at home with Barangay Ginebra in his return to the PBA after two years.
Brownlee last played for the Gin Kings in their 2019 Governors’ Cup title run but that team had undergone significant changes in the two years during the versatile forward’s absence the biggest of which is the departure of Greg Slaughter and the acquisition of Christian Standhardinger.
Nevertheless, Brownlee was still his same old self as he steered Ginebra to an 80-77 win over Alaska in their first game of the 2021 Governors’ Cup.
“We got a couple of young guys, it’s a different look because we got a couple of new faces but they come in and they bind into the system very well and blend with the team,” said Brownlee, who had 28 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks.
While Slaughter’s exit is the biggest change, quite literally, in the team there are also the role players who entered the league while Brownlee was back home in the United States.
Arvin Tolentino, Sidney Onwubere, and Kent Salado weren’t with the Gin Kings in Brownlee’s last stint but he’s so far been impressed with the support the bench guys have given.
“It’s good playing with those guys.”
Despite his stellar opener, Brownlee said that he still has to play better if they want to successfully defend their title.
“I think I still have a bit to go to be in game shape like I was before,” said Brownlee. “I’m just trying to work out as much as I can, it’s hard to simulate what we do in practice here. I’ve been trying to keep fit, running two miles a day, and things like that.”
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