Heat gets to Justin Brownlee in Gilas Pilipinas loss to Cambodia
MANILA, Philippines–Justin Brownlee, the naturalized Filipino billed as the foremost weapon in the Philippines’ bid for redemption in the Southeast Asian Games, was hardly a factor against host Cambodia on Thursday night.
Brownlee was shackled to just 10 points on 3-for-13 shooting in Gilas Pilipinas’ 79-68 loss at Morodok Techo National Stadium that had the Nationals dropping to a 1-1 record in the tournament.
According to national coach Chot Reyes, the beloved Barangay Ginebra import was severely affected by the humid conditions at the venue.
“Brownlee couldn’t move. He was really dehydrated. The heat really got to him. Later on, he was better but by then he was already cramping having lost lots of fluids,” he said.
With Brownlee—an athletic forward who has a knack for doing it all—far from his optimal shape, Gilas hardly stood a chance against a Cambodia side replete with naturalized players.
And that’s something that the Gilas brain trust hopes to address as the Filipinos try to stay the course in the campaign where they seek to reinstate the Philippines as the best in the region.
“It’s definitely a concern (moving forward) because (Justin) feels smothered. He couldn’t breathe. We were down in the first half where he didn’t score. When [did] you ever see Justin go scoreless in one half, right?” Reyes said.
“We made a little run in the third but then he had to come out because he was cramping. So that’s just [among] the things we have to deal with,” he went on.
Footage on the ground showed Brownlee getting ice on his back and a fan exclusively directed at him during the game.
“Hopefully, the longer (Justin) stays here, the more he gets used to the conditions, the more his body acclimatizes to it all,” he said.