Justin Brownlee erupted in the third quarter and Barangay Ginebra rallied past GlobalPort, 113-96, for its first win in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Brownlee came alive in the pivotal third period, where the Gin Kings rose from 13 points down after outscoring the Batang Pier, 34-17.
The explosive import fired 20 of his 29 points in the third quarter alone after a four-point first half. He also collected eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
“We had a hard time getting our rhythm together at the start of the game and we finally get it somewhere in the third quarter,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. “It’s the activity level. We haven’t just been active in our last two games until that third quarter.”
“We really believed in Justin and it’s just a matter of time before he figures it out again,” Cone said. “Good to see Justin break out a little bit and hit some shots, but we really didn’t look good at all, that’s for sure.”
The Kings were trailing, 74-69, before closing the third frame on a 16-1 blast. Brownlee unloaded 12 straight points in the final two minutes and 13 seconds in the period.
Stanley Pringle also had 29 points for GlobalPort, which fell to 0-3 despite making 17 3-pointers. His backcourt mate Terrence Romeo struggled with only 14 points on 6-of-22 from the field. He did dish out seven assists.
“We won the game but I’m not satisfied. We have to be better. I’m struggling with good things to say about our team right now,” admitted Cone, who is bracing for a tough duel with undefeated Star on Sunday.
Ginebra shot 52% from the field and had 30 assists.
Six other Gin Kings notched double digits in scoring. LA Tenorio tallied 15 points, Sol Mercado, Kevin Ferrer and Japeth Aguilar added 13 each while Joe Devance and Scottie Thompson chipped in 10 each.
Romeo hit layup that pulled GlobalPort within six, 96-90, before Ginebra pulled away for good behind Brownlee and Mercado, who had 10 points in the fourth.