Gilas pulls away to beat Hong Kong in Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers

Gilas pulls away to beat Hong Kong in Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers

/ 09:55 PM February 22, 2024

Justin Brownlee Gilas Pilipinas

Gilas Pilipinas’ Justin Brownlee in the Philippines’ game against Hong Kong in the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers. –FIBA

HONG KONG — Promise delivered.

Save for a forgettable first half, the new-look Gilas Pilipinas played splendidly on both ends on Thursday night to whip Hong Kong, 94-64, and take a victory many thought they would easily take.


The Nationals found the gaps in their game just in time to pocket a resounding victory at Tsuen Wan Sports Centre here.


SCHEDULE: Gilas at Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers window 1

Naturalized ace Justin Brownlee starred with 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in his first game back from a three-month voluntary suspension helping the Nationals, ranked 38 in the world, to a key first victory in their four-year cycle geared towards returning to the Basketball World Cup.

Gilas coach Tim rued his charges’ slow start which saw the hosts taking the lead—albeit briefly—in the second quarter, which he ultimately charged to the team’s first time seeing action together.

“First half, everybody was tentative, everybody was trying hard but they were tentative and we were missing shots we should have made,” Cone said.

“We were a little overextended defensively, we’re allowing guys, just all the things we weren’t supposed to be doing, we were doing in the first half. I just couldn’t get our minds settled and on the game itself. I think it’s just that first-game jitters playing together.”

“It’s obvious to anybody that we have a long ways to go. We hear that Taiwan gave New Zealand a real battle today so they’re gonna be a team to be reckoned with come Sunday. We gotta need to play a lot, lot better.”


Kevin Quiambao, the lone varsity star in the long-haul cast, tossed in 15 more in the triumph fashioned before a crowd that was mostly Filipinos.

READ: Tim Cone puts Gilas sights on process, growth

Kai Sotto delivered a double-double of 13 points and 15 rebounds while Jamie Malonzo chipped in 11 more into the scoring effort to help Filipinos generate momentum heading into the homestand against Chinese-Taipei this Sunday at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

“I think that’s what’s expected of me to produce. I’m glad we won but as coach Tim said, this is more of a test for us,” Sotto said on the heels of his performance which helped plug the absences of June Mar Fajardo and AJ Edu.

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“We’re the ones who are going to be judged after this team because we’re a better team. So it’s a test to our character and our defense. Slow first half but we picked it up.”

Shiu Wah Leung had 15 points, Oliver Xu added 13 more for the hosts, who will face an even tougher battle when they play the Kiwis in Auckland.

TAGS: Gilas Pilipinas

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