Justin Brownlee himself saw the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s two-year reign in the PBA Governors’ Cup — a reign which he helped build — come to its bitter end Friday night, thanks to bitter rivals Magnolia Hotshots.
The Gin Kings are kings no more of the season-ending conference, as they lost to the Romeo Travis-led Magnolia, 108-112
It was a tough defeat to swallow for the Barangay, since they were inches away from forcing a winner-take-all – they already had a five-point lead with 1:44 left to play, but Travis plus Jio Jalalon and Paul Lee happened.
Aside from their dethronement, Friday’s loss also wasted Ginebra’s stellar run in the conference. They headed into the quarterfinals as the top seed with a league-best 9-2 card despite the injuries that struck them in the eliminations.
“You definitely can’t win it all,” said Brownlee, who made 32 points, nine boards, seven assists, and three blocks in the loss. “The two championships, the Governors’ Cup that we won two in a row was great. A great one.
“But we understand that trying to win another one, it was going to be very tough.”
It will be hard for the Gin Kings to accept the end of their reign, since it was highly expected that they would make a three-peat. But Brownlee isn’t taking anything away from Magnolia, whom he said deserves all the praise.
“We lost to a really tough team. Magnolia, they’re really good. And they were playing well tonight. And this whole series. We got one game and we couldn’t get two. A lot of credit to Magnolia,” said the three-time PBA champion.
“Congratulations to them on making the Finals. Hopefully, next year, we can do a better job.”