In a basketball game that saw two individuals duke out in a marathon, it was Justin Brownlee who passed the tape with the greater of ease.
Barangay Ginebra rode the coattails of Brownlee to take the 104-90 win and the sweep Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts, meanwhile, saw Arinze Onuaku run on fumes.
For Brownlee, who played 41 minutes and 39 seconds, playing for almost the whole game was a testament to his hard work and discipline.
“I pride myself every time I come, I want to be better than the last conference especially with my endurance and just the kind of shape I’m in,” said Brownlee who had 36 points, six rebounds, and nine assists.
On the other side of the court, Onuaku’s fast start was just that, an early spark of energy that dissipated in the two quarters the Bolts needed him the most.
Onuaku had 16 points in the first half and tried to match Brownlee, who had 24 in that period, shot per shot.
Brownlee, however, was able to continue his momentum in the second half while Onuaku barely got a sprint in as he labored to run up and down the floor and lagged behind the Bolts’ offensive and defensive sequences.
“Good news for us, Justin’s like an Energizer bunny right now and he doesn’t just get tired,” said Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone. “He used to get tired when he first came in but he’s in such awesome shape now that he doesn’t get tired.”
Onuaku scored just five points in the second half while Brownlee had 12 including a couple of points that came off a fastbreak jam that gave Ginebra a 92-81 lead with 4:16 left in the fourth.
“I always want to get better in that area [stamina and endurance] so I took a lot of pride in that so I just tried to get in the best shape that I can,” said Brownlee.
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