Justin Brownlee expects the competition to be even tougher when he leads Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s bid for a third straight crown in the PBA Governors’ Cup which opens this Friday.
Ginebra won’t begin its defense of the season-ending conference it won the last years until weeks after the opener after completing a stirring recovery from a 1-5 start to beat San Miguel Beer for the Commissioner’s Cup title last Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Brownlee, who averaged 31.5 points in the Finals, will be back to help Ginebra’s quest for a fourth title under coach Tim Cone but is bracing for rival teams to be more eager in ending their reign.
“I see some of the imports coming in for the Governors’ Cup and they are very talented,” Brownlee said. “I’m sure it’s gonna be very tough. And if there’s a target on my back, that is what it is and that’s something I’m not gonna worry about.
“I’m just focused on getting better every day and just trying to help the team win,” added Brownlee, named Best Import of the Commissioner’s Cup.
Meralco, which lost both times to Ginebra in the Governors’ Cup Finals, has brought back two-time Best Import Allen Durham in hopes of finally reaching the top while seven teams have also signed imports with PBA experience.
Commissioner’s Cup runner-up San Miguel has one-time Best Import Arizona Reid, who led the Beermen to the 2015 Governors’ Cup title, while Rain or Shine tapped J’Nathan Bullock after an impressive stint last year.
TNT KaTropa has ex-GlobalPort reinforcement Mike Glover even as Magnolia got 2015 Governors’ Cup Best Import and former Alaska mainstay Romeo Travis, a former high school teammate of NBA superstar LeBron James.
Phoenix and Blackwater are following Ginebra’s route with Eugene Phelps and Henry Walker back from their Commissioner’s Cup stints while NLEX’s Olu Ashaolu suits up after a one-game stint in the Commissioner’s Cup eliminations.
By Jonas Terrado