ANTIPOLO — Ginebra import Justin Brownlee had no clear idea on the significance of the retro jersey he sported on Sunday night against Meralco.
That’s why upon learning the legacy of the Robert Jaworski-led 1991 squad that erased a 1-3 Final series deficit and won the championship against the now-defunct Shell franchise while donning that jersey, he was elated on wearing the replica.
“Really? Wow, that’s impressive right there. I applaud them for that. Great history lesson I learned today,” said Brownlee right after a sports writer gave him a brief trip down the crowd darlings’ memory lane.
No wonder, Brownlee looks forward to keeping one in his collection despite having his jersey misprinted to Brown lee.
“I hope I could get my hands on mine,” he said. “It’s a great-looking jersey.”
Ironically, though, the super import almost played spoiler to the homage after muffing potential game-sealing free throws with still six seconds to go and Ginebra only up by one.
“Sometimes it happens. Of course I tried to make them, but I’m not perfect,” said Brownlee, who played the Bolts for the first time since sinking a championship-sealing victory over them two conferences ago.
His botched play gave a clear shot for the Bolts to snatch the victory but Chris Newsome’s errant pass to Cliff Hodge in transition prevented it–to Brownlee’s relief.
“We were just fortunate on that play, because if they connected on that play, that put them in a great position to win the game. I’m just happy he turned the ball over that time,” he said with a smile.
With another classic duel of the two Governors’ Cup finals protagonist, Brownlee couldn’t help but relish the brewing rivalry between his Ginebra and Meralco.
“It’s a rivalry for sure: two incredible coaches, they’re two great coaches and you can see it with the way their teams play. Anytime they go against each other, I think it’s going to be a great game,” he said.
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