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Gilas prevails over Chinese Taipei: Slams first window with a sweep

Lae Eronico


Gilas prevails over Chinese Taipei: Slams first window with a sweep

RAMOS, Tarlac — With their dominance, Gilas Pilipinas successfully swept  their first window of FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers after a huge win over Chinese Taipei at Philsports Arena on Sunday, February 25. 

An all-rounder performance of  26 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists from Justin Brownlee led the Gilas to claim their second dominant victory after a 106-53 win over the visiting team.

“I really liked the way we worked tonight, the team just really worked hard on both sides of the floor and did that for the whole game of 48 minutes,” said head coach, Tim Cone.

In the first minutes of the match, Gilas started their offense strong as they quickly made a double-digit lead to end the first quarter, 26-13.

Sin-Kuan Lin’s three pointer and a floater of Ai-Che Yu from Chinese Taipei ignited the scorching 16-0 run of the Gilas Pilipinas in the second quarter to extend their lead, 42-18. 

Gilas ended the half with a 30-point lead, 57-27, led by a magnificent performance of Kai Sotto in the second frame with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.

In the second half, Chinese Taipei could not simply fight back as the hot offense and defense of Gilas stretched the lead to 54, 102-48, courtesy of Chris Newsome’s three-pointer with minutes left in fourth.

they forced Chinese Taipei into 16 turnovers and a paltry 29.8% shooting from the field.

Total team effort for Gilas in both ends of the floor as they ended with 30 assists on 43 made field goals, and forced the foreign team into 16 turnovers and a roughly 29.8% shooting from the field to mark their second consecutive victory in the qualifier, 106-53.

On the other hand, Kai Sotto finished the game with 18 points while Calvin Oftana and Dwight Ramos added 13 and 12 points respectively.

“Make no mistake: we have a long way to go. This was a pretty game tonight. We didn’t go out there to put on a show and show how good we are. We just wanted to go out there and work. It just turned out that way. But we also realize we have a lot of work ahead of us and a long ways to go.” said Cone.

This win by the Philippine team replicates their 96-64 victory over Hong Kong last Thursday, February 22, held at Tsuen Wan Stadium, which is led by Kai Sotto who scored 13 points and 15 rebounds.

Gilas is now tied with New Zealand at 2-0, but still ahead in Group B as they have a huge winning margin of 83 points.

After the window, Gilas Pilipinas received invitations from European teams to prepare for their next competition, “We’ve got some invitations from Lithuania, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, we’re gonna work our way through those and see what we can do,” the head coach said.

The men’s national basketball team is now focusing on the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the next competition of the team after the first window in which they will face a powerhouse Latvia on July 3, and Georgia on July 4.

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