MANILA - Not only did Justin Brownlee win another PBA championship on Friday, but he also continued his rise in the all-time scoring list among imports.
Brownlee shook off a slow start to score 24 points, grab 16 rebounds, and dish out six assists in Barangay Ginebra's 103-92 victory against the Meralco Bolts in Game 6 of the Governors' Cup Finals, which allowed the Gin Kings to wrap up the series.
With his output, Brownlee officially surpassed the great Billy Ray Bates for No. 5 in the all-time import scoring list. He had entered the game nine points behind Bates, who scored 4,523 points in his legendary PBA career.
"It feels great, you know, to be able to accomplish things in this league… I feel like this is a great league," Brownlee said of this latest achievement. "It's very established, has a lot of history."
"A lot of great players, imports and locals, have played," he added. "So it feels great to get accomplishments in this league because I know it means a lot."
Brownlee had already become the first import in the history of the PBA to make 400 three-pointers in Game 5, where he made five of his seven attempts from long distance.
Now with a total of 4,539 points in his PBA career, Brownlee says he is honored to be considered on the same level as players like Bates and Meralco coach Norman Black, who are considered the benchmarks when it comes to imports.
Black still holds the scoring record for imports, with a total of 11,329.
"Billy Ray Bates, I've definitely done my history on the imports who have played here. I know he was a great import, that he had a lot of success here. He's labeled as one of the best, if not the best import that played here," said Brownlee, who turned 34 a day after Ginebra sealed the title.
"It's always great to be mentioned alongside those guys, and Norman Black. It's great, a great feeling," he added.