With the height ceiling set at six-foot-10, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is making a gamble by bringing back Justin Brownlee to reinforce the Gin Kings in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
Brownlee, standing a little over six-foot-five, was Ginebra’s import when it ended its eight-year title drought against Meralco by hitting the game-clinching triple at the buzzer in Game 6 to win the last season’s Governors’ Cup crown.
The 28-year old St. John’s alumnus is back again in harness for the Gin Kings but face a daunting task of guarding taller reinforcements.
Head coach Tim Cone is not worried and said Brownlee is perfect for their “small ball” style.
“We are certainly going to give the Justin (Brownlee) the first chance to carry us. He has the ability to guard bigger players – that was his forte in the NBA (National Basketball Association) D-League – yet still has the ability to mismatch bigger players on the offensive side,” said Cone.
“Plus he’s a joy to coach and his teammates love him. He’s very humble and a high character guy. We will all work hard to make it work,” the 19-time champion mentor added.
Brownlee averaged 30.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game during the elimination of the Governor’s Cup. He lost to Bolts’ Allen Durham for the Best Import honors.
Meanwhile, Cone said center Greg Slaughter, the tallest player in the league at seven feet, won’t be available for the Gin Kings in the mid-season conference and most probably debut this season in the Governors’ Cup.