Justin Brownlee wasn’t his usual self during the Finals series opener against Meralco last Wednesday.
The 33-year old, 4-time PBA champion finished with 27 points but reached that output on a miserable 7-of-20 shooting from the field. That’s 35 percent shooting which is way below his conference norm of 53.8.
Aside from that, Brownlee could only account for 6 rebounds and 5 assists which is also below his conference averages.
His pedestrian performance heavily affected the team as the defending champs lost by 13 points to the Bolts, 104-91.
Despite everything, Meralco coach Norman Black still felt that Brownlee played a decent game.
“I thought Justin played pretty well tonight. He might not have shot at the percentage he’s been shooting lately, but I thought he still was an offensive threat out there,” said Black shortly after the his team took Game 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“And, he was somebody that we had to really try to defend every time down the court. It’s always gonna be a challenge to try to slow down JB, because he is so potent and he’s so effective out there on the basketball court,” he added.
Coming off a subpar performance, Black is expecting a strong bounce back game from the Gin Kings’ resident reinforcement.
“He shot 7-for-20? Well, I’m sure he’ll probably want to improve on that next game, so we have to be ready to play defense again.”