Justin Brownlee relishes ‘unbelievable feeling’ of winning gold for Philippines
Justin Brownlee powered through in his first full campaign for Gilas Pilipinas and came out of it hoisting a medal.
He’d do it all over again, heat, humidity—and linoleum flooring be damned.
“I’ll play in any type of environment as long as it does not kill me,” Brownlee told reporters with a smile shortly after the Philippines’ golden victory in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
“I love representing the Philippines. It’s been very special to me and my career. I’m ready to just keep repping the flag,” he went on.
“Hopefully, it doesn’t get to conditions [like this again], but if (they) do present [themselves again], at least we have experience now.”
Playing goat after falling prey to dehydration and cramping in Gilas Pilipinas’ first encounter with the hosts, Brownlee kicked it up a notch. He was big in the semifinal clash against Indonesia and was also key in the 80-69 triumph over Cambodia in the gold medal game Tuesday night, leading the way with 23 points.
Brownlee said he only felt better adjusted when the final horn at Morodok Techo National Stadium rang.
“[Only when] we got the gold medal to be honest,” he said. “Till the clock ran out. I definitely wasn’t satisfied with just having a good performance or looking good myself. I pride myself as a team player and you know, the team’s success is my success just like everybody else.”
“When that clock hit zero, then I felt the most progress, just like winning a championship or now a gold medal. It’s an unbelievable feeling,” he added.
Brownlee, a beloved import in the PBA playing for the popular Barangay Ginebra franchise put this SEA Games victory on top of all the winning moments he’s been in throughout his career.
“I gotta put this at the top. Playing for Ginebra is truly special. There’s nothing like it,” said the American who granted Filipino citizenship by way of naturalization earlier this year.
“But I have to say that about representing and putting on this Pilipinas jersey? There’s nothing like it. It’s an unbelievable feeling. When you got the whole country behind your back supporting you, the more you do great and you just kind of feed off that energy and give it your all.”
“I pride myself in giving it all out there and leaving it all on the floor and like I said before—The Filipino pride, that’s what it’s all about. Win, lose, draw… we leave it all out on the floor. And whatever happens, we live with it,” he said.