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Oct 21, 2016
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Barangay Ginebra San Miguel's 2016 PBA Governors Cup championship was undoubtedly a heroes packed affair.

But behind Scottie Thompson breaking out, a more mature Japeth Aguilar stepping up, solid play from Finals MVP LA Tenorio, and clutch and spirited performances from ageless duo Jayjay Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa, you can't deny the fact that the main reason Ginebra is finally out of the kangkungan was a certain dude named Justin Brownlee.

Before he even hit that ridiculous game-winner, the runner-up for Best Import was his team's driving force, despite a couple of underwhelming performances in Games 1 and 4. For a player who wasn't supposed to be part of the team at the beginning of the conference, Brownlee sure turned out to be one happy accident.

So where does he rank among the past great Ginebra reinforcements? FHM weighs in:


9) Henry James

PBA cred: Debuted with 48 points against Mobiline; led Ginebra to a knockout game for a Finals berth, which they lost to the Formula Shell Zoom Masters


8) Wesley Matthews

PBA cred: Won Best Import and steered the team to the 1991 Third Conference Finals, where they were beaten by a Sean Chambers-led Alaska Milkmen


7) Carlos Briggs

PBA cred: Averaged 62.1 points during the 1989 Reinforced Conference, with a career-high of 89, on his way to being named Best Import; guided the Añejo Rum 65ers to the Finals, where they fell short to the San Miguel Beermen

 

6) Chris Alexander

PBA cred: Best Import awardee, who led Ginebra to its last championship at the 2008 Fiesta Conference prior to their Governors Cup victory.

5) Justin Brownlee

PBA cred: Initially just a replacement for injured reinforcement Paul Harris, ended up being the hero of the 2016 PBA Governors Cup Finals


4) Chris King

PBA cred: Helped the franchise end a six-year championship dry spell during the 1997 PBA Commissioners Cup, despite being injured in the final three games


3) Jervis Cole

PBA cred: Instrumental in Ginebra's historic 3-1 comeback against the Shell Rimula X (crucial defensive stop on Ronnie Magsanoc's game-winning shot), en route to the 1991 PBA First Conference title


2) Michael Hackett

PBA cred: 103 points, 45 rebounds; 1985 Reinforced Conference Best Import; part of the team's first championship


1) Billy Ray Bates

PBA cred: Teamed up with the aforementioned Hackett to lead the ball club to its first-ever title (1986 PBA Open Conference) after a stint with the Crispa Redmanizers; returned next year to lead all imports with a 54.9 scoring average

 

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