PBA: Tim Cone in awe of 'phenomenal' Ginebra import -- 'Life is easier when you have Justin Brownlee'

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2022 06:55 PM

 Justin Brownlee exploded for a conference-high 47 points in Ginebra's series-clinching win against NLEX. PBA Images.
Justin Brownlee exploded for a conference-high 47 points in Ginebra's series-clinching win against NLEX. PBA Images.

MANILA, Philippines -- There was no stopping Justin Brownlee from towing Barangay Ginebra back to the finals of the PBA Governors' Cup.

Brownlee fired 47 points -- his most this conference, and a playoff career-high -- to fuel the Gin Kings to a 112-93 triumph against the NLEX Road Warriors on Wednesday afternoon. The thrilling win wrapped up their semifinals series in four games, and punched their ticket to the best-of-seven finals.

"Life's a lot easier when you have Justin Brownlee," Ginebra coach Tim Cone said after the game, where he repeatedly expressed his awe of their 33-year-old import.

"What a phenomenal, phenomenal performance that was by Justin. I'm amazed by it," the coach said. "You could kind of see it coming, because you could see the intensity he had in practice yesterday. You could see the intensity he had before the game, even at halftime."

Brownlee had 26 points at the half, and finished with 47 points on 17-of-24 shooting along with 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and three blocks in nearly 45 minutes of action. 

In four games against NLEX, Brownlee averaged 33.3 points while shooting nearly 60% from the field, including a stunning 47% from beyond the arc.

"We've had the pleasure of seeing that for what, five conferences now? Or six conferences. And, every time he comes, he just amazes me even more and more. He's a phenomenal, phenomenal player," said Cone.

Brownlee had a relatively slow start to the conference, by his standards -- something that Cone attributed to a lack of game time in the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's clear that their much-loved import is now hitting a higher gear.

Cone has no doubt that Brownlee will be putting on a show in the finals, where they will play the winner of the other semifinal series between Magnolia and Meralco.

"By Justin and the group, I think they're gonna be entertained," Cone said, as he encouraged fans to watch the best-of-seven finals. 

The multi-titled coach compared it to seeing legendary PBA import Billy Ray Bates play back in the 1980s. "That's still indelible in my mind, watching and being able to say I was there with Billy Ray Bates," said Cone.

"This time, you watch Justin Brownlee, you'll be able to say, 'Hey, I watched Justin Brownlee,'" he added. "So, take advantage of it while you can. Come and see him. He's not gonna be here forever, but you're gonna be able to tell your family, your friends, your cousins, everybody, that you watched Justin Brownlee play, and that's gonna be a special thing."