The Gin Kings are still raving over how Justine Brownlee’s three-point shot saved the day for Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday during Game 6 of the best-of-seven finals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governor’s Cup. Brownlee scored the buzzer-beating basket that allowed the Gin Kings to beat the Meralco Bolts, 91-88, ending its eight-year title drought.
“This is very amazing. I wasn’t so nervous in my entire life except in this game and then Brownlee hit that miracle shot. “It’s like in the movie. But if this is the way it ends, you can’t script it any better. It is really awesome. All glory goes to God,” said veteran playmaker Jay-Jay Helterbrand.
Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa were with Ginebra when the team won its last championship during the 2008 Fiesta Conference.
Brownlee, who replaced original import Paul Harris because of injury during the early part of the third conference, said that he is still in awe of what happened.
“When you were a little kid and you have the ball in your hand, you count five, four, three, two, one and you shoot it. I always dreamed and imagined that but I couldn’t imagine it the way it happened,” Brownlee told reporters after the game.
“And I really thank God for this opportunity and that shot going in. I’m very blessed that it went in,” added Brownlee, who was playing multiple positions. “I’m really thankful to all the fans who are cheering for us.”
Helterbrand, who refused to talk about retirement, said that he only wants to savor the sweet victory with his teammates.
“I’m not sure yet if I’m going to retire or not next season. All I want first is to enjoy this moment. I will talk to the coaching staff about this and I’m not sure of what will happen. It was an awesome birthday week, miracles after miracles and blessings after blessings,” he said.
During the post-championship celebration, Caguioa made a marriage proposal to his longtime girlfriend Lauren Hudson. Caguioa and the Filipino-Australian Hudson are in a relationship since 2004.
“I really love her and this is the right time,” Caguioa told reporters. “She’s with me through the ups and downs. I want to thank her for all the things she did and for all the love she gave.”
Meanwhile, rookie Earl Scottie Thompson thanked coach Tim Cone for the trust and confidence he gave him.
“I’m very happy to help the team win a title. Thankful to Coach Tim for encouraging me to play hard and aggressive,” Thompson told The Times. “I couldn’t ask for more. As a rookie, I already have a championship and hopefully more to go. I’m just waiting for the right time to score.”