April 25, 2024

Extreme heat fells Justin Brownlee into paltry 10-point game in SEA Games shocker vs Cambodia

Extreme heat fells Justin Brownlee into paltry 10-point game in SEA Games shocker vs Cambodia
POC

It turns out, extreme heat can slow down Barangay Ginebra San Miguel resident import Justin Brownlee.

Gilas Pilipinas found that out on Thursday night, as Brownlee kept looking gassed in the nationals’ 79-68 setback to hosts Cambodia—a loss that was described as disgraceful by no less than Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan.

Brownlee, considered as among the best imports to have ever played in the PBA, was held to just 10 points against Cambodia on 3-for-13 shooting as he could just not find a rhythm at any point in the game. The six-time PBA champion kept getting subbed in and out all game long, first due to exhaustion from the unbearable heat and then due to cramping.

“He feels smothered, hindi siya makahinga, so that’s a real problem. In the first half I don’t think he scored. When do you ever see Justin go scoreless in one half?” Chot Reyes told the media after the game. “When he came back, we made a little run in the third, but then again, he had to come out because he was cramping up. Those are the things we just have to deal with.”

While Reyes acknowledged that lackluster play from Brownlee is a major concern, he also stressed that the locals must step up to help out Gilas’ cause.

“We’re not a one-man team. The others should also pick up the slack. That’s what I told the guys after the game,” Reyes pointed out. “We missed a ton of layups, we missed a ton of free throws. If we clean those up, those things that we normally make, even with Justin struggling I thought we could have made this a closer ball game.”

Unfortunately for Gilas, only Christian Standhardinger and Chris Newsome offered the Cambodians some resistance, contributing 14 and 11 markers, respectively, on a combined 11-for-22 shooting. The rest of the locals combined for only 33 points on a paltry 14-for-47 clip from the field.

Gilas will try to bounce back on Saturday versus Singapore to make it to the knockout crossovers—and potentially set up a rematch with the hosts in the final.