Justin Brownlee had a bad day on Wednesday.
But Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone is not worried how badly Brownlee played in Game 2 of the ongoing 2022-2023 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup Finals.
“We’re not worried about Justin. He’s the least of our worries,” said Cone after the TNT Tropang Giga took control of the boards in the last three minutes and handed the Gin Kings a 95-82 beating at the Araneta Coliseum.
With the series now tied at 1-all, the Gin Kings are back on the drawing board, figuring out how to bounce back in Game 3 today at 5:45 p.m., again at the Big Dome.
The Tropang Giga’s defense clicked in Game 2 as it held the Gin Kings to their lowest output in a conference.
“He (Brownlee) had a tough night. He’s had tough nights in the past. It’s always always about him. But I never worry about him,” said Cone.
The last time this happened to the Gin Kings was back in Game 2 of last year’s Commissioner’s Cup finals when they lost to the Bay Area Dragons, 82-99.
Brownlee himself vowed to be better.
“I feel like we could’ve come out, and played a whole lot better, mostly myself. I felt like I kind of let my team down as their import. I had good moments in other areas, but I just got to be better. Three-for-sixteen? I just got to be better in that field,” Brownlee said of his terrible shooting.
TNT import Rhondae Hollis-Jefferson, who led Tropang Giga with 23 points, spent the evening guarding Brownlee, who finished with 12 points, way below his average of 21.5 points.
It was Brownlee’s lowest production this conference since he tallied 11 points in Game 1 of the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals when the Gin Kings won over Magnolia, 87-84.
“Rhondae did a great job defending him. He’s a surprise with his defense,” added Cone.
The multi-titled coach said adjustments in their defensive plays involving Brownlee will be carefully thought out in their next game.
Hollis-Jefferson, who fired 23 points to go with 19 rebounds, nine assists and two steals, leads the conference finals with his norms of 26.5 points and 19.5 rebounds.