Brownlee as GOAT can gain traction with another PBA title
The excitement of being in the PBA Finals is a feeling that never gets old for Justin Brownlee even as he sets his sights on becoming the winningest import in league history.
“Every time is special, making it,” he said. “And every time winning it is even more special.”
Brownlee has never lost in a championship series, which makes it one of the reasons why he and Ginebra are favored to add another trophy to the cabinet after the Governors’ Cup Finals against TNT, which ousted Meralco, 107-92.
A seventh championship since his arrival in the 2016 Governors’ Cup as a replacement for the injured Paul Harris will allow Brownlee to have the most number of titles by a foreign player.
He is currently tied at six with Alaska great Sean Chambers, an import from Ginebra’s coach Tim Cone’s past.
It will also raise further the case of some who feel that Brownlee has already got past the likes of Chambers, Billy Ray Bates, current Meralco coach Norman Black and Tony Harris as the greatest import of all-time—or in informal terms—the GOAT.
One current teammate believes he already has cemented that status.
“Did you see his record in the Finals? You see what he brings to the table?” Christian Standhardinger said before the semis. “I don’t want to name any other imports, but sometimes you see that the imports kind of look for themselves. But Justin is great at making us better as well.
“And I think that’s the big differential factor. It’s not just he’s producing for himself big numbers, it’s a huge difference when he plays and gets his teammates involved.
“I think he can go every game for 40, but sometimes he only scores 25. ‘Only scores 25.’ But get everybody else going. That’s why I think he’s the greatest,” added Standhardinger.
GOAT discussions aside, Brownlee is keen on extending his perfect record come the Finals, which starts on April 9, Easter Sunday.
Confidence seems high on the Ginebra camp after an almost trouble-free campaign up to this point that included a five-game winning streak during the eliminations and a surprising sweep of a formidable San Miguel Beer squad in the semis.
“I’m just focusing on one game at a time … or as of right now, just focusing on getting ready for the Finals,” said Brownlee. “When it comes up, just focusing on one game at a time, one possession at a time.
“Hopefully, everything we’ve built up for this point with momentum and our team chemistry and what we’ve grown, hopefully, that helps and bring us another championship,” he added.