LUCENA — Justin Brownlee was relieved to get the series opener out of the way and in the bag for Ginebra.
He didn’t want a repeat of last year when the Gin Kings trailed 0-1, and later on 1-2 in the series winning the next three games to win the PBA Governors’ Cup championship.
“Last year, we didn’t had a good start in the series. This time, we won. We just tried to set the tone and we tried to be aggressive,” he said on the heels of Ginebra’s 102-87 victory over Meralco on Friday.
Brownlee was largely instrumental in the triumph, scattering 32 points on an efficient 13-of-20 shooting clip, on top of his 19 rebounds and six assists.
Brownlee also acknowledged the weight of Greg Slaughter’s return for Ginebra as the latter gave them a huge threat down low that’s unmatched by the opposing Bolts frontline.
“He definitely makes our offense a lot easier. He gets under the bottom and around the rim and he’s very difficult to stop there. We kept looking for him for him to stay on his rhythm. He’s doing a great job and we hope that continues along the series,” he said.
Brownlee knows that with the series shifting back to Manila, both squads will be on an even keel in terms of fatigue after a tiring ride back home from Lucena. But with stakes bigger as ever, it’s going to be mind over matter for the Finals protagonists in Game 2 on Sunday.
“At this point, everybody’s feeling fatigued, everybody’s tired. But you just have to fight it. You don’t have the time to be fatigued right now. We just have to keep aggressive and continue that to Game 2,” he said.
“Hopefully, it will turn out like Game 1.”