PBA Governors' Cup

No stopping Brownlee: Cone says top import ‘continues to evolve’

Delfin Dioquino
No stopping Brownlee: Cone says top import ‘continues to evolve’

HUNGRY FOR MORE. Justin Brownlee will gun for his fifth PBA championship with Barangay Ginebra.

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Tim Cone compares Justin Brownlee to PBA legend Bobby Ray Parks Sr. for his continuous evolution

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee has been playing in the PBA for more than five years, but no team seems to have figured out a way to stop him.

Tim Cone attributed this stretch of dominance to Brownlee continuously evolving as he willed Barangay Ginebra to its fifth finals appearance with him as the Gin Kings’ import.

“You might get him one game, you might figure out something different for one game, but if you tried the second game, you’re dead,” Cone told the Radyo Singko program Power and Play with Noli Eala.

“He’ll figure it out and destroy you,” Cone added. “Every time someone does something new, he’ll learn something and he adds it to his game. He continues to evolve.”

That has been the case in the Governors’ Cup playoffs, with Brownlee raising his game to another level after finishing outside the top five in the battle for the Best Import honors at the end of the elimination round.

Proving he is still the yardstick for PBA reinforcements, Brownlee averaged 33.5 points and 15 rebounds as No. 6 seed Ginebra overhauled a twice-to-beat disadvantage to eliminate TNT in the quarterfinals.

Then in their closeout game against NLEX in the semifinals, Brownlee exploded for a conference-high 47 points on top of 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks, and 3 steals to send the defending champion Gin Kings to the finals.

Overall, Brownlee has playoff averages of 33.3 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.6 blocks, and 2.3 steals going into their title rematch against Meralco.

Cone even went as far as comparing Brownlee to PBA legend and seven-time Best Import awardee Bobby Ray Parks Sr.

“I coached against Bobby throughout his career. One thing I always said about Bobby Parks is that it did not matter what kind of defense you came up with,” Cone said.

“Whatever you came up with, he had seen before, he had battled before because everybody did everything they could to try to stop Bobby Parks and you could not stop him.”

“Bobby would evolve his game through the years because of what all the coaches would do. I really feel that is the pattern that Justin has gone through. Justin has evolved his game.”

Although Brownlee, 33, has grown significantly older since his first PBA tour of duty in 2016, the fact remains for Cone that his beloved ward is as reliable as ever.

“He is so much better now than he was when he first came to the Philippines. He has grown leaps and bounds,” Cone said. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.