MANILA, Philippines – In the penultimate game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the PhilSports Arena, BARANGAY Ginebra crushed Converge 115 to 96 to clinch third place while maintaining the chance of sneaking into second.
The Gin Kings defeated the FiberXers in a simulated playoff for third place with a balanced performance from their starting rotation, finishing at 9 to 3 as opposed to the latter’s 8 to 4 to record.
Then, Ginebra has one more window of opportunity to secure second place and the important twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.
However, that will only occur if Magnolia (9 to 2) loses against Rain or Shine (5 to 6) in the final match of the single-round robin eliminations on Friday at the same location.
If not, the Bay Area Dragons, who are seeded first, will face the Hotshots in the quarterfinals, with the Hotshots earning the win-once bonus over the two lowest seeds. The Kings would then have to play the sixth seed in a best-of-three quarterfinal matchup.
Coach Tim Cone of Ginebra said, “We’re No. 2 or No. 3. (Rain or Shine) Coach Yeng (Guiao) may pull off something on Friday, and we will be cheering for them.
Ginebra fulfilled its obligation under the agreement.
As Justin Brownlee led the Kings’ effort against the FiberXers with another nearly triple-double performance of 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists, they were successful in achieving their goals.
Christian Standhardinger, Jamie Malonzo, LA Tenorio, and Japeth Aguilar all performed admirably in their respective roles.
Aguilar (16 to 7) and Tenorio (14 to 3 to 4) supported Brownlee in providing the squad a great start and an even stronger finish, while Malonzo (17 points and 8 rebounds) and Standhardinger (13 and 8 rebounds) played solidly off the bench.
The entire squad played to their game strategy, and they put up a strong defensive effort to contain Converge import Quincy Miller, who they were only able to hold to 16 points on just 6-of-16 shooting.
The fourth place FiberXers must play the fifth seed in a best-of-three-quarters matchup because they dropped their final two games and fell out of first place.
On other news – Once his naturalization is complete, Brownlee intends to stay.
After his playing career is finished, the veteran Barangay Ginebra import said he already has some ideas for what he might do in the nation, including a potential coaching position or something else in the basketball industry.
In the SEAG Live Episode on the SEAG Network, Brownlee said, “I hope that after I am done playing, other chances get to present themselves, whether it may be coaching or any other thing. I like working with kids. So maybe something presents itself in that sense.”
” I’m fond of life here already and I get a lot of love, so I’m gonna stay. I will live here and stay for as long as possible.”
Tuesday marked a significant advancement in Brownlee’s efforts to be recognized as a Filipino after the House of Representatives passed House Bill 6224, which deals particularly with the naturalization of the two-time PBA Best Import, on its third and final reading.
The primary sponsor of the bill was Representative Mikee Romero.
Romero, who is also the owner of the NorthPort Batang Pier franchise, once served as the godfather of the men’s basketball team that won the gold at the 2007 Nakhon Ratchasima Southeast Asian Games. “Undoubtedly, with the passage of the measure, we will be providing our country, our men’s basketball team with a formidable ally which embodies the ‘never-say-die’ attitude and spirit of the Filipino citizen,” he said.
Brownlee’s naturalization measure, co-sponsored by Senators Dela Rosa, Go, and Angara.
Both measures will become laws after being approved by the Senate and being signed by President Marcos Jr.
Brownlee is already being considered by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) for use as the nation’s naturalized player for the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers in February.
When asked what makes the Philippines a unique location to play basketball, Brownlee responded that it is the people’s and supporters’ fervor for the game.