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Brownlee on playing in front of Cone as Alab player: "It got me very excited"

Coach Tim Cone was in town to watch his import Justin Brownlee play for Alab. Glenn Tan/ABL
By Ivan Saldajeno

STA. ROSA, Laguna--In a rare moment, the greatest coach in the modern-day PBA watched an ABL game.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone was in attendance at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on Wednesday night to watch Alab Pilipinas--featuring Ginebra's resident PBA Governors' Cup import Justin Brownlee--taking on Nanhai.

Brownlee, in an interview with Dugout Philippines, said that Cone's appearance made him more motivated.

"Seeing Coach Tim in the game got me very excited, actually," Brownlee said. "He's a legendary coach here, and he taught me so much about basketball. I'm happy personally to have him here."

However, Brownlee was sluggish all game long, only making 7-of-27 from the field.

"Maybe [I got] a little too excited," he added.

Part of his struggles, however, can be attributed to the defense of the Kung Fu's Fil-Am reinforcement Caelan Tiongson.

"He did an incredible job on me," Brownlee said of Tiongson.

Good thing for Brownlee, Ray-Ray Parks exploded for 31 points, Renaldo Balkman had an impressive all-around performance plus huge stops in the end, and Josh Urbiztondo made three consecutive triples late in regulation to help Alab stun Nanhai.

[Related Story: Alab finally wins in Sta. Rosa after OT thriller against Nanhai]

"We got great teammates--great local guys and another great import in Balkman. They picked up a lot of slack that I lacked today," Brownlee further said. "I salute these guys for playing their hearts out."

In spite of Alab's win, Brownlee said that there is nothing to take away from the Kung Fu.

"They're a great team. They have a great coach. You could tell it about the way they play," he quipped. "We just had the energy at the end."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno