Nov 05, 2018

Brownlee braces for rough sailing as the playoffs get going

Justin Brownlee is bracing for a tougher challenge when Ginebra begins the second phase of its quest for a third straight PBA Governors' Cup crown on Tuesday against NLEX.

After finishing the eliminations with a conference best 9-2 (win-lost) record and enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, many believe that the Kings will have an easy path towards retaining the title in the season-ending tournament.

But don't tell than to Brownlee, the Kings' hardworking import. He expects Ginebra to encounter plenty of detours once the playoffs get going.

"I'm sure it's gonna be tough, even tougher than the previous two (championship runs in the Governors' Cup)," Brownlee said after Ginebra's 112-93 victory over Talk N' Text at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. "I'm not sure exactly how it's gonna be, but I know it's gonna be tough."

Should Ginebra blow away NLEX in its path, it will advance to the semi-finals against either fourth seed Magnolia or fifth-ranked Blackwater in a best-of-five series.

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Brownlee registered 31 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists as Ginebra used its last elimination game against TNT as a preparation for the playoffs.

Ginebra clinched the No. 1 seed shortly after Phoenix's 97-91 victory over Blackwater.

Greg Slaughter scored 25 points in his second game since returning from injury, a perfect time for the 7-footer to regain his strength.

"It's just good that I can be aggressive inside and draw a lot of fouls," said Slaughter. "It was nice to have that game to prepare for the playoffs." (JT)