MANILA, Philippines—Justin Brownlee wasn’t exactly remarkable—at least on Justin Brownlee levels—during his first game in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The resident Barangay Ginebra import had 20 points built on a ghastly 28 percent shooting clip during the 22-point drubbing at the hands of Rain or Shine last week.
He did, however, quickly atone for it on Sunday night, willing the Gin Kings to a 99-91 win over Meralco at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“You just know he is going to bounce back,” coach Tim Cone said of his old reliable. “Like I told you guys last game, he turned in one of his clunkers. He’ll have an occasional clunker.”
“His history is that he bounces back and he has done that throughout his five, six years that he has been here,” he added. “It was not that disconcerting for us.”
Brownlee turned in a signature all-around outing, finishing with 34 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a pair of steals.
It was a return to form for the versatile forward who has been the anchor of the Gin Kings in their five championship runs.
And that should worry the opposition, according to Cone, in case they’ve forgotten how ferocious the two-time Best Import could be.
“We knew Justin would come out and be Justin. I think the moment you start to doubt Justin, I think you’re a little bit silly,” the PBA’s winningest coach said.
“I just think you just got to keep with him and stay with him and he is going to deliver like he did tonight, like he did in the playoffs,” he added.
And for good measure, Cone reminded how Brownlee’s early struggles mirrored last Governors’ Cup.
“I remember halfway through the last conference he was here, everyone was wondering, are we going to change Justin? Does he need to be changed? And then we swept through a championship,” he shared.
“Beware if you doubt Justin.”
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