Under horrid conditions at the Morodok Techo Elephant Hall 2 in Phnom Penh, Justin Brownlee had to overcome severe dehydration and cramps in their first and only loss of the tournament to the hosts.
Although Brownlee regained his lethal form in the gold-medal game, Gilas coach Chot Reyes cited a unique attribute of the Gin King import that made him more vulnerable in the heat than the rest of the squad.
"Si Justin [Brownlee] even kapag air-conditioned, maski sa Araneta, grabe pawisan 'yan," Reyes bared in an interview with SEAG Network on Monday.
"You can ask him yourself, he is really an above average sweater kaya when you put him in that situation, extreme heat exhaustion at dehydration talaga [nararanasan niya]," he added.
On their Cambodia defeat in the preliminaries, another factor went against Gilas, according to Reyes.
"For some reason, ang bigat nung air eh. The air inside the coliseum nung napuno, sobrang mabigat ... Literally physically, hindi siya makahinga," Reyes said.
And on top of many other advantages enjoyed by the hosts in this year's SEA Games, a longer lead time in playing under such substandard circumstances was an understated yet crucial advantage for Cambodia.
"Remember 'yung tatlong star ng Cambodia, naglaro na sa 3x3 eh so sanay na sila. They played in the 3x3 and the whole tournament, walang palit ... walang sub 'yung tatlong Cambodian, yung tatlong Amerikano eh," Reyes said.
"They were very used already to the conditions playing under that heat. Tayo, it took us a few more days to get acclimatized," he added.
But no matter, all the sweat led to a sweet ending for Gilas.