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Justin Brownlee takes over as Gilas slays ghost of 2022, dethrones Indonesia as SEA Games men's 5x5 champs

Justin Brownlee took over for Gilas. PSC-POC Media Pool
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Last year, the Southeast Asian basketball scene was rocked when Indonesia stunned Gilas Pilipinas in the final day of the SEA Games men's 5x5 basketball event to finish at number one after the round robin tournament and claim the gold.

However, with 7:02 left in their rematch on Monday night, Indonesia was on cruise of repeating against Gilas but this time with the losing side probably settling for bronze or going home without anything.

Then Justin Brownlee happened.

Brownlee exploded just in time and willed Gilas to a comeback 84-76 win against Indonesia in their semifinal clash at the Morodok Techo Stadium in Phnom Penh.

Following a Marcio Lassiter three off a timeout, the Brownlee show began with a three-point play that trimmed the lead to one, 71-70, with 3:50 remaining.

Andakara Prastawa and Kaleb Gemilang tried to keep the Indons afloat with baskets of their own, but Brownlee answered with eight straight points and also setting up Brandon Rosser's layup to put Gilas ahead, 80-74, with 1:41 left.

Indonesia continued to implode from thereon, and Brownlee and Chris Newsome hit insurance free throws to ice the game for Gilas.

Brownlee led Gilas with 34 points, 15 in the fourth quarter including 13 within the final five and a half minutes, nine rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks.

Rosser added 13 points, four rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal off the bench.

Lester Prosper led Indonesia with 26 points on 10-of-11 field goals and nine rebounds.

Gilas gets a chance to avenge its only loss so far in the tournament against host country Cambodia in the championship game on Tuesday, while Indonesia battles Thailand for the bronze medal in the first game of the doubleheader.

Cambodia, which became much talked about after recruiting six naturalized players to lead the team, took down Thailand, 76-66, in the first semifinal.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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