MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee has always been vocal about his desire to represent the Philippines.
And the Gilas Pilipinas naturalization candidate took that to heart on Sunday, October 9, as he and Barangay Ginebra handed PBA guest team Bay Area its first loss in the Commissioner’s Cup by way of a 111-93 rout.
Putting together a performance to remember, Brownlee erupted for a season high 46 points on 65% clip to go with 12 rebounds in the dominant win where the erstwhile unbeaten Dragons looked vulnerable for once.
“We just wanted to come out and play them hard, give them a good game, try to focus on our defense. Also, just represent for the league and for the Philippines,” said Brownlee.
Bay Area dominated its PBA competition by going undefeated in all of its tuneup games and starting the conference with four straight wins.
That stretch included a 46-point mauling of Blackwater, a dramatic win over NorthPort off a buzzer-beater, and a pair of gritty triumphs over Phoenix and Converge.
But Brownlee and the Gin Kings made it a point to halt the Dragons’ streak.
“They’re a great guest team and we just wanted to try and represent our league and just try and come out and play hard,” Brownlee said.
Brownlee also outdueled Bay Area import Andrew Nicholson as they duked it out again for the first time in more than a decade since their collegiate battles in the US NCAA.
A five-year NBA veteran, Nicholson played for St. Bonaventure University, while Brownlee saw action for St. John’s University.
“It was great to see him. I’ve been following his career. Not a whole lot, but I know he was in the NBA and his stints overseas, in Asia. Been kind of fun. Great to see him,” Brownlee said. – Rappler.com