Justin Brownlee capped his stellar night with the game-winning play and Barangay Ginebra escaped Alaska, 103-102, in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Brownlee unloaded 37 points, including a three-point play with 7.2 seconds left to lead the Gin Kings to their fifth straight victory after starting the conference with a loss to Phoenix.
“We certainly battled through a lot of adversity in that game. We made it through the last six minutes without a timeout, and down the stretch that made it difficult,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone. “But guys are used to playing down the stretch and making plays, and they did that both on offense and defense.”
“Luckily, Justin made a great drive and got the three-point play. That’s Justin being Justin, he’s just an intelligent player, so intelligent. He always seem to make the right play on offense and defense,” Cone said of the versatile Brownlee, who also had 14 rebounds, six assists, three steals and four blocks.
Chris Banchero had the chance to put Alaska up by three but sank just one of two free throws for a 102-100 Alaska lead with 19 ticks remaining before Brownlee converted the and-1 off a foul by Cory Jefferson.
The Aces had one more opportunity to win the game but JVee Casio misfired on a left corner 3-pointer as time expired.
Alaska, which went just 7-of-11 from the free throw line compared to Ginebra’s 21-of-29, has now lost its third consecutive game after a 4-0 start.
Jefferson, who led the Aces with 25 points and 18 rebounds, was hit by Brownlee while taking the potential game-winning jumper but didn’t get the call.
But the game wouldn’t have gone down to the last seconds had Alaska protected a 101-95 lead with only 3:12 to go.
Scottie Thompson added 11 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for Ginebra.
Kings big man Japeth Aguilar and Aces forward Calvin Abueva missed the game due to their commitments with the national team.