MANILA, Philippines – It hasn’t been an easy first few days in the Philippines for Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee.
The 28-year-old has been battling jetlag and continues to adjust to the volatile Philippine weather, and it came down hard on him as he suffered severe cramps in the Gin Kings’ 109-100 overtime loss to the Alaska Aces on Sunday, July 24.
“Naga-adjust siya sa system, but more so sa weather e (He’s adjusting to the system but more so with the weather),” said teammate LA Tenorio.
“Medyo hindi siya sanay e, kaya third quarter pa lang nagca-cramps na. Nung practice pa lang, nagca-cramps na siya. Hopefully makapag-adjust kaagad siya. Very positive yung potential niya.”
(He’s not used to it, that’s why as early as the third quarter he already had cramps. Even in practice he was already cramping up. Hopefully he can adjust quickly. But his potential is very positive.)
Brownlee, who serves as temporary import in lieu of the injured Paul Harris, played just under 30 minutes in his first game for Ginebra but still posted 31 points and 13 rebounds.
His presence was missed for most of overtime, however, as he was subbed out with 3:41 remaining. Several times in the game he could be seen lying on the floor getting his legs massaged.
“Labas-pasok siya kasi alam ni coach Tim (Cone) na kakapusin e (He was in and out because coach Tim knows he couldn’t go all the way),” Tenorio said.
As soon as Brownlee left the game, Alaska pushed forward with the deciding 8-0 run highlighted by Ladontae Henton and JVee Casio treys, and Calvin Abueva shut the door for good with his own 3-pointer.
With still roughly 30 seconds left to play but the result already certain, Brownlee limped off the court to the locker room. He was offered a stretcher but turned it down, opting to walk with assistance.
Brownlee’s whole body was cramping up at that point, according to Tenorio, who also shared the import had already participated in 4 practices since arriving last Thursday, July 21.
“Medyo naghahabol siya at hindi siya nakakatulog, so nakakaawa (He’s still catching up so he can’t sleep, I feel sorry for him),” Tenorio explained.
“Pero very positive yung nakita namin sa kanya, offensively and defensively. Makuha lang niya talaga yung laro dito sa PBA at the same time yung second wind niya at condition niya, I think we’ll be in good shape with him.“
(But we’re very positive with him, offensively and defensively. He just needs to adapt to the play here in the PBA and at the same time catch his second wind and his condition, I think we’ll be in good shape with him.)
Ginebra, which now holds a 1-1 record, will next face NLEX on Wednesday, July 27. – Rappler.com