Chris Newsome (left) of Meralco and Calvin Abueva of Magnolia reached the semifinals for the last time. -PBA image.
No team made like the circus barker on Wednesday night. Come on, everyone. Capture spectacular major events. Limited run only.
The star of the show? Justin Brownlee.
“[T]Take advantage of it whenever you can, ”said the two-time Grand Slam mentor and current Barangay Geneva coach. “Come and see him. He won’t be here forever, but you’ll be able to tell your family, your friends, your cousins. You’ve seen Justin Brownlee play. And it’s going to be a special thing.”
After Brownlee collected 47 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, three steals and three blocks in a 112-93 win over NLEX, words came out of Cone’s mouth that limited the 3-1 semifinal series win and earned a ticket to Jean Kings. Dominance.
“The Justin game is something you look back on and, for me, I remember watching a game, going live and watching the Billy Ray Bates game. As a little kid – and it’s still fresh in my mind – watching and being able to say ‘I was there with Billy Ray Bates,’ “Shank said.
“This time, when you see Justin Brownlee, you’ll be able to say, ‘Hey, I’ve seen Justin Brownlee.’ Just like, I saw Billy Ray Bates, ”he added.
For centuries, Brownlee’s performance meant that Barangay Ginbera would have a shot at defending his crown. And it leaves Chris Newsom, the rogue two-way guard whose Meralco Bolts squad served as Jean Kings’ enemy-and-animal-food in many Governors Cup final showdowns, green with envy.
“We saw them win before our game. Of course, whenever you see a team booking tickets to a quick final, you get annoyed. You want to be that next team, “he told Inquirer on the same night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with Magnolia 94-73 Game 4 heels. Now the Bolts will have to team up again if they can ever take a shot at Brownley and Kings.
After all, they are battling the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Magnolia — also the only team to have won the Governors’ Cup crown, as Geneva Maral has begun relegating Meralco to runner-up status in the final tournament.
The two teams face off at 6pm on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, pushing it back against Geneva in the winning championship.
But facing the Kings is not Bolts’ concern at the moment.
“You can’t think too far ahead,” Newsome said. “So we have to stay in the moment.”
And in that moment, the Bolts know exactly what to do.
“[The Hotshots] Demonstrated a lot of aggression that we don’t seem to be showing tonight. We are doing a really good job of restoring this conference and tonight we have dominated the boards. We have to fix these before we get here on Friday, “Meralco coach Norman Black said as he left the venue on Wednesday.
“They played with their hearts. Their backs were against the wall. Any team in position would do the same, “Newsome said.” They did show it and we didn’t respond very well to the way they were shown. “Magnolia, meanwhile, matched her Game 4 performance.
“We expect a very physical game like the four of us [games before]Hotshots coach Chito Victoloro said.
The prize for Friday’s winner was a shot from the Kings’ head.
Brownley is on the verge of overtaking Bates on the all-time scoring ladder.
Bates earned 4,523 points – fifth in overall imports. As the situation stands, Brownley needs 158 more to pass the Bates. If the finals go a long way, Brownlee is expected to cement that milestone, add to his growing legend and make him one more basketball spectacle, as Cone says, a must see.
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