Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Tim Cone paid tribute to Justin Brownlee after the PBA Governors’ Cup crown that came once again at the expense of the Meralco Bolts.
Cone expressed before a crowd of 20,224 at the Mall of Asia Arena his gratitude towards Brownlee, who he described as the telling difference as to why the Gin Kings were able to capture a fourth Governors’ Cup title for the fourth time in the last five editions.
“You know, we’ve won these four out of five championships against Meralco,” Cone told the audience during the championship presentation.
“And I want to tell you that the difference between us and them...is Justin Brownlee,” added Cone, triggering loud cheers from the crowd. “If Justin was on the other side, who knows maybe we don’t win.”
Brownlee has been synonymous with winning ever since he arrived in July 2016 to replace an injured Paul Harris early in that year’s Governors’ Cup.
It was Brownlee’s fifth championship in eight conferences with Ginebra, perhaps enhancing his status as one of the greatest imports of all-time.
Brownlee had his struggles early in the series, but displayed his usual self when it mattered.
He only scored two points in the first half of the clincher, before going off for 17 in the third which allowed Ginebra to take full control.
“We’ve been blessed to have Justin all this time, and that has been the difference for us. Like I said before, he’s special,” he later said in a postgame interview inside the press room.