Still bothered by heat, Justin Brownlee vows to dig even deeper for Gilas in gold medal game – rezal404

Christian Standhardinger during the Gilas Pilipinas-Cambodia clash in the SEA Games 2023 men's basketball.

Justin Brownlee during the Gilas Pilipinas-Cambodia clash in the SEA Games 2023 men’s basketball. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Ariya Kurniawan | Instagram @ariyakurniawan16

MANILA, Philippines–Justin Brownlee put up big numbers in Gilas Pilipinas’ 84-76 comeback win over Indonesia in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games on Monday night.

The naturalized forward finished with 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists as the Philippines knocked Timnas off the throne and gained entry to the gold medal match against Cambodia.

It looked like a return to form, but Brownlee said he was still far from being comfortable in the playing conditions at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh.

“Man, I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it,” he told reporters. “I’m cramping up right now, but it’s getting better for sure. It feels ten times better.”

Brownlee struggled with the heat in the venue in Gilas Pilipinas’ second game, which was against the hosts. There he finished with only 10 points and was hardly a factor in the loss.

Brownlee said he was already digging deep in the clash with Indonesia which he hopes could carry over into the final on Tuesday 4 pm (Manila time).

“Just trying to get a rhythm going and you know, giving it all we got for the gold medal game,” he said.

The Philippines is facing tall odds against the hosts who are replete with naturalized players. On top of that, the latter’s reinforcements seem to have long adapted to the punishing conditions—something they could again lean on in the winner-take-all.

But Brownlee is optimistic.

“They’re a very talented team. So it’s just any mistake we make whether it’s defense or offense, they’d really take advantage of it,” he said of the final assignment in the gold medal reclamation project.

“I think if we could limit our mistakes, try to stay solid, I think that gives us a good chance of winning against them.”

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