Gilas Pilipinas beats Taiwan Mustangs in tune-up before OQT

Gilas Pilipinas beats Taiwan Mustangs in tune-up before OQT

/ 09:33 PM June 24, 2024

Dwight Ramos Gilas Pilipinas past Taiwan Mustangs oqt tune up

Dwight Ramos leads Gilas Pilipinas past Taiwan Mustangs in a tune-up game ahead of the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the Paris Games. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Gilas Pilipinas rolled past Taiwan Mustangs on Monday night, 74-64, kicking off its build-up for the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament on a positive note.

Dwight Ramos had 19 points to lead the Nationals who are priming for the short meet that will complete the field in the Summer Olympic Games that will be held in Paris, France.

Justin Brownlee, fresh from plying his trade in Indonesia, delivered 12 points and 15 rebounds in a wire-to-wire victory for Gilas before over 5,000 spectators at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

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“Well you know, we weren’t concerned about winning or losing a basketball game, we wanted to play a certain style. And I think they did a really good job of throwing a lot of jump defenses at us,” Gilas coach Tim Cone said shortly after the triumph over a visiting crew led by former PBA players Alex Cabagnot and Rashawn McCarthy.

“But we worked hard on the defensive side,” he went on. “We got a lot of work to do but we have time. We got a lot of work to do ahead of us … We’ll just continue to get better and better as we move forward.”

Gilas will now set its sights on a pair of friendlies in Europe. The Filipinos fly to Turkey on Tuesday night where they will take on the host national team then play Poland before plunging into action in the OQT in Riga where World No. 6 and host Latvia and No. 23 Georgia await.

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Kai Sotto had nine points and nine rebounds, June Mar Fajardo chipped in eight points, while Carl Tamayo and skipper Japeth Aguilar combined for 13 in the scoring effort.

READ: Gilas plays tuneup matches before OQT

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Gilas stuck with just 11 players as Roger Pogoy, a former national team gunner, joined the crowd as a spectator. He was with the team in its short closed-door camp at Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna a few days ago.

Cone said he will be sticking with that roster number with Fajardo finally activated and Amos completing the cast as a replacement.

Jamie Malonzo, AJ Edu and Scottie Thompson are all sidelined by injury.

“It’s not that we can’t find a replacement for him, it’s just that we’re missing him. Nobody—anybody we’d get is not gonna replace Scottie. That’s just a fact of life. But we don’t feel shorthanded. We talked to the 11 guys. They’re 11 strong,” Cone said.

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Oscar Lopez, who served the Cambodian national team during the Southeast Asian Games in the past, had 15 points, Cabagnot tossed in 13, while McCarthy 12 for the Mustangs who were coached by former Rain or Shine coach Chris Gavina.

TAGS: Gilas Pilipinas

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