MANILA, Philippines—Ginebra coach Tim Cone is hopeful for Justin Brownlee’s quick recovery from severe food poisoning after the Gin Kings’ 104-95 loss to TNT in Game 5 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
Losing Brownlee, who had to be taken to the hospital after the game according to Cone, made the game even more challenging for the Gin Kings, who are now down 2-3 in the best-of-seven PBA Finals series.
“It’s very hard when our best player didn’t play in the second half,” Cone said. “[Brownlee] had severe food poisoning. He tried to go in the first half and did a pretty good job but by halftime, he was out. You can see it at the start of the second half, he just didn’t have anything.”
“He was throwing up on the bench. We took him out and now we’re taking him to the hospital, something we probably should have done before the game even started.”
Brownlee played for only 25 minutes in the defeat, before ultimately leaving the game late in the third quarter. The runner-up for Best Import of the Conference finished with 14 points, four rebounds, a steal and a block.
His departure from the match allowed his counterpart Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to dominate with a triple-double of 32 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists.
Cone, though, admitted that Brownlee’s early exit was not the only cause of the defeat, stating that turnovers down the stretch were as detrimental to the Gin Kings as well.
“[The] bottomline is, we made some turnovers down the stretch. We couldn’t rebound without Justin there and that’s the story of the game,” Cone said.
WATCH: Coach Tim Cone after losing Game 5 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals. | via Rommel Fuertes
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, April 19, 2023
With 72 hours left before the potential series-ending Game 6, Cone is hopeful that Brownlee would react positively after his hospital check-up.
“Hopefully, Justin will be better after we bring him to the hospital. We’ll see. It’s pretty severe…really severe, actually.”
The Gin Kings aim to tie the series on Friday’s Game 6 to set up a winner-take-all seventh game on Sunday
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