Cone: The difference between Ginebra, Meralco is Brownlee

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 22 2022 11:27 PM

From the PBA Facebook page
From the PBA Facebook page

Tim Cone, PBA's winningest coach, added another title in his belt by steering Barangay Ginebra to a 4th PBA Governors' Cup title at Meralco's expense Friday night.

Cone said his recent title runs with the Kings would not have been possible without Justin Brownlee, who has been the Gin Kings' antidote against the Bolts.

"We've won 4 out of 5 championships against Meralco," said the multi-titled coach following their 103-92 Game 6 win against Meralco.

"I want to tell the difference between us and them is Justin Brownlee."

Brownlee, a 2-time best import of the conference, scored 17 points during the pivotal third quarter against the Bolts in Game 6 after being held just to 2 points in the first half.

The third quarter push jumpstarted the Kings' run in the second half en route to their title win against the Bolts.

"If Justin was on the other side, who knows? Maybe we don't win but for sure with Justin we win," said Cone, who now has a total of 24 PBA titles under his name.

Brownlee is now a 5-time PBA champion and is undefeated in the PBA finals. 

"(This conference is) special in a lot of ways... due to the pandemic. There's a lot of things going on and for us to comeback in the Philippines and win a championship is a great feeling," he said.

He admitted having some struggles against the Bolts in the first two quarters, with Cliff Hodge and Chris Newsome double-teaming him.

"I give a lot of credit to (Meralco coach) Norman Black. I think they don't want me touching and shooting the ball... It was in the second half I really took advantage of the moment," he said.

Cone also thanked the predominant pro-Ginebra crowd at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night.

He said it was different playing in front of fans, their "Sixth Man," especially during the pandemic era.

"It's such a joy to bring these guys to the promised land in front of all of you, you're the ones who made it happen, the fans made it happen," said Cone.

"I hope we brought joy pagkatapos ng pandemic, here again trying to win championship for you. I hope there's more to come."