SEA Games 2023

Chot says Brownlee struggling with heat, dehydration: ‘He feels smothered’

Delfin Dioquino

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Chot says Brownlee struggling with heat, dehydration: ‘He feels smothered’

FOR FLAG. Justin Brownlee in action for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2023 SEA Games.

Ariya Kurniawan

Justin Brownlee uncharacteristically fires blanks as Gilas Pilipinas bows to retooled Cambodia in the 2023 SEA Games

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – It has been a relatively quiet Southeast Asian Games campaign for Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player Justin Brownlee.

As it turns out, the sweltering Cambodian heat and dehydration have kept Brownlee from being his usual self as he struggled in a frustrating 79-68 loss to Cambodia at the Morodok Techo Sport Complex here on Thursday, May 11. 

Brownlee uncharacteristically went scoreless in the first half and finished with just 10 points on a dismal 3-of-13 shooting in the defeat that dropped the Philippines to 1-1 in Group A.

“Definitely a concern because he feels smothered,” said Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes. “He can’t breathe. That’s a real problem.”

“When will you ever see Justin go scoreless in one half, right?”

Brownlee, whose 40-point performances for Barangay Ginebra in the PBA no longer come as a surprise, is averaging just 10.5 points on an uninspired 33% shooting after the first two games.

He put up 11 points against Malaysia in their SEA Games opener, although the Philippines hardly needed his offense as it cruised to a 45-point rout.

Reyes has his fingers crossed that Brownlee regains his bearings, and at the same time, hopes for the local cast to rise to the occasion. 

“[He needs] continued hydration,” Reyes said. “Hopefully, the longer he stays here, the more he gets used to the conditions, the more his body acclimatizes to it.”

“But you know, we’re not a one-man team, the others should pick up the slack and that’s what I told the guys after the game.”

Gilas Pilipinas needs to beat Singapore in its final group stage game on Saturday, May 13, for a spot in the crossover semifinals, where it will face the No. 1 team from Group B. –

(READ: SBP chairman emeritus MVP blasts own federation after Gilas loss to Cambodia)

(READ: Gilas Pilipinas takes exception as Cambodia coach calls late timeout in rout)

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.