MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee would not be denied in the final quarter this time.
Barangay Ginebra remained alive as Brownlee took charge in the payoff period and powered an 80-72 victory over TNT in Game 3 of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series on Tuesday, July 30.
Limited to 7 fourth-quarter points combined in the last two games, the reigning Best Import of the Conference scattered 8 points in the last frame of Game 3 to help the Gin Kings prevent a sweep by the KaTropa.
He sank two foul shots that gave Ginebra a 74-68 lead and assisted on a Scottie Thompson bucket that put TNT at bay in the final two minutes.
“I was just seeing some openings to try and maybe get some switches or if I can get to a spot. I was just seeing how they were defending me and just read through it,” Brownlee said.
Still, Brownlee had to bleed for his points as he shot 5-of-15 from the field and was limited to a conference-low 14 points.
He was on track to finishing with single digits in scoring for the first time in his PBA career before coming alive in the last frame, and it had a lot to do with the KaTropa defense that has him as the main focus.
“I tried to read the defense a lot better this game. TNT is a really good defensive team, they got some schemes,” said Brownlee, who added 11 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks.
As the Gin Kings seek to force a winner-take-all match, having the same sense of urgency and survival instinct they showed in Game 3 will be crucial, Brownlee said.
“We just try to have the same mentality and approach like we did today. Just come out and be aggressive on offense and be solid on defense.”
Game 4 is on Thursday, August 1, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
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