When Justin Brownlee came out of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel locker room Wednesday evening, the smile he had on his face could not be ignored.
“Man, you got to love this as a basketball player. This is the thing you grow up and you dream of,” the 29-year-old shared.
After six hard fought games, the epic Ginebra-Meralco series boils down to just one game, a winner-take-all bout that a rivalry like this deserves.
But it would not have reached this point if the Gin Kings had been able to match the fire the Bolts showed to start Game 6.
“They just came out more aggressive than us, I think,” said Brownlee, who did not finish with a double-double for the first time in the series, “They initiated physicality, they were the first ones to loose balls, rebounds, they just came out with a great energy and we didn’t, and I think that was the – to start the game, set the tone, I think that was the biggest part of the game.”
And after he had ended Ginebra’s eight-year title drought with the shot a season ago, Brownlee would gladly settle to just winning in whatever way possible this time around, emphasizing that his true goal is to retain the crown.
“The perfect moment would just be winning the championship. But of course, it’d be nice to win it in spectacular fashion. But right now, that moment is just winning the championship,” added Brownlee, who is averaging 23.83 points, 13.0 rebounds, 5.17 assists, and 1.5 steals in the series.
“I think we’re going to be prepared, we’re going to come out with great energy and aggression, and we will be ready to defend the crown.”