Like coach Tim Cone, Justin Brownlee would have also preferred to play Game Seven of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals as scheduled.
But he has no problems with it being moved on Sunday, for he knows that the extra time would be beneficial for both Ginebra and Bay Area.
“I wish we would have had Friday,” he said. “I still feel good. Probably won’t feel this good later on or tomorrow, but to be honest, I still feel good. I was ready to play for Friday, and yeah, I’m sure the extra days can help everybody.”
Those extra days, for sure, would also help the Kings prepare better after seeing the Dragons become even tougher to stop with Myles Powell in tow.
Brownlee admitted that the guest team was different especially on offense with the former NBA cager, whose dynamic scoring enabled the visitors to come out with the 87-84 win Wednesday night to push the series to the limit.
“The rhythm of their offense is different,” offered the three-time Best Import. “Of course, with [Andrew] Nicholson, he played outside as well, but he’s an inside player too, so, just the rhythm, we just got to focus on different areas.
“Of course, they attacked from the perimeter and shot the three-ball well, so I think that’s the biggest thing,” added Brownlee.
Although it was his lowest output in the conference, and despite not being at full health still due to a foot injury, Powell remained as effective with 29 points on 55-percent shooting alongside seven rebounds and three assists.
He went 5-of-11 from beyond the arc and that kind of touch seemingly rubbed off on his teammates. Bay Area, as a whole, rifled in 17 for a 47-percent clip from deep for easily their best three-point shooting night in the series.
“Gotta give a lot of credit to Myles Powell,” said Brownlee as he and the Barangay played against Powell for the very first time in the conference.
“He came out and played extremely well, hit some big shots for them, and also created. We haven’t had too much time to prepare for him because he’s been out, but of course, we’ve seen what he’s been doing this whole conference.”
Powell was instrumental down the stretch as well, helping out in a key 7-0 run to give his side the lead for good, 85-82, with under three minutes left after the Dragons lost hold of a 12-point lead and trailed by seven in the fourth.
Ginebra had opportunities but could not capitalize, eventually seeing their aspirations of wrapping up the series that night in tatters.
“We had some moments in the game, but down the stretch, they hit some big shots, and we couldn’t match that, and that was the outcome,” lamented Brownlee, who finished with 37 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Now Ginebra’s back to the drawing board, gearing up for their first Game Seven assignment in over half a decade or since beating Meralco to clinch the 2017 Governors’ Cup crown before 54,000-plus fans at the Philippine Arena.
“We just got to really key in on what they like to do now, more so from the perimeter than when they had Nicholson and going inside,” Brownlee said.
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.