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Fingers crossed at Ginebra camp as Justin Brownlee questionable for Game 6 due to food poisoning

Justin Brownlee's health status for Game 6 is now in question. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Ginebra coach Tim Cone is hopeful that Justin Brownlee would return for Game 6 of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals strong as he suffered food poisoning hours before Game 5 on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Cone revealed that Brownlee quickly sought medical help after leaving the game late in the third quarter.

"Hopefully, Justin will be better after being in the hospital. He's pretty severe. It was really severe food poisoning," Cone said.

Brownlee was solid in the first half, where the team had control of Game 5 to the delight of most of the 10,070 fans in attendance.

However, come the halftime break, according to Cone, Brownlee felt the effects of the food poisoning.

"By halftime, he was out, and you could see it when he started the second half. He just didn't have anything. He was throwing up at halftime and on the bench when we took him out," Cone further said.

Brownlee first returned to the Ginebra locker room upon exiting the playing field, but when he still felt too ill, he was quickly rushed to the hospital.

Cone regretted that they didn't send Brownlee to the hospital first before playing.

"We've taken him to the hospital, maybe something we probably should have done before the game even started," Cone continued.

He, though, somehow lauded Brownlee for still playing through the stomach pain.

"He wanted to come and try, so he tried but it wasn't enough," Cone further said.

With Brownlee absent in the second half, TNT stormed back and took Game 5 to put them on the cusp of winning it all.

"The bottom line is we made some turnovers down the stretch and we couldn't rebound without Justin there and that's the story of the game. You got to be better with more poise down the stretch," Cone said.

While there are already cases of quick recoveries from food poisoning, Brownlee's match fitness is now in question as Game 6 will happen on Friday night.

"Hopefully, within 48 hours, he can get back and get ready to play," Cone concluded.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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