Justin Brownlee (PBA Images)

Barangay Ginebra opens its title defense of the PBA Governors’ Cup crown against early leader Alaska while NorthPort’s Arwind Santos faces his former team San Miguel Beer for the first time Sunday, Dec. 12 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Justin Brownlee makes his much-awaited return for the Gin Kings in their 6:45 p.m. duel with the Aces, who are aiming to stretch their unbeaten run to three games and match their win total in the Philippine Cup.

The Ginebra-Alaska tussle will be held after the 4 p.m. curtainraiser between NorthPort and San Miguel, two teams that dropped their first two assignments despite high expectations going into the tournament.

Santos faces the Beermen weeks after his 12-year stint with the San Miguel Corporation’s flagship franchise ended when he was shipped to NorthPort in exchange for Vic Manuel.

Sharing the attention are the Gin Kings, who will begin their quest to bounce back from a disappointing showing in the previous conference.

Ginebra went 4-7, needed a playoff to claim the last quarterfinals berth before being eliminated by eventual champion TNT.

Brownlee hopes to put Ginebra back to its winning ways, as he has always done in the past like in his last stint by winning the last edition of the Governors’ Cup in 2019.

Coach Tim Cone is also set to parade new addition Sidney Onwubere, who was traded from NorthPort, to team up with the core of LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Stanley Pringle, Scottie Thompson and Christian Standhardinger.

Alaska opened its campaign with an 87-85 win over NorthPort before frustrating San Miguel with a 99-94 triumph two nights ago.

SMB and NorthPort are at 0-2 after contrasting results to open the conference.

The Beermen seem to be in an adjustment period after parting ways with Santos and Alex Cabagnot, who is now with the Terrafirma Dyip, while acquiring Manuel and Simon Enciso.

Santos, on the other hand, has done a splendid job in his first two games with averages of 21.5 points, but NorthPort couldn’t complete the comeback in both matches against Alaska and NLEX.

The Batang Pier lost 120-115 in overtime to the NLEX Road Warriors last Friday, blowing a chance to close it out in regulation when Kevin Alas tied it with three free throws after being fouled with 1.2 seconds left in the fourth.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/12/11/justin-brownlee-returns-as-ginebra-opens-title-defense-in-govs-cup/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=justin-brownlee-returns-as-ginebra-opens-title-defense-in-govs-cup)