April 20, 2024

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Gilas Pilipinas dominates Chinese Taipei in FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers match

4 min read
TOWER OF POWER. Kai Sotto of Gilas Pilipinas goes up against three Chinese Taipei defenders during their FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers First Window Group B clash on Sunday night, February 25, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. FIBA PHOTO

In a dazzling display of teamwork and defensive prowess, Gilas Pilipinas secured a commanding 106-53 victory against Chinese Taipei in their Group B matchup of the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers First Window on Sunday night, February 25, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. 

The game, held at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Sunday night, showcased the Philippines’ dominance on both ends of the court.

Despite feeling under the weather from the previous game’s travel fatigue, Justin Brownlee played a pivotal role in spearheading Gilas’ efforts. 

The naturalized player showcased his skills with an impressive double-double, contributing 26 points and 13 rebounds, along with five assists, one steal, and two blocks. Brownlee’s leadership on the court reflected his crucial role in the Philippines’ historic golden finish in the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Kai Sotto, the towering center, replicated Brownlee’s feat with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Sotto demonstrated his versatility with five assists and three blocks, further solidifying the team’s defensive front. 

Supporting the dynamic duo, Calvin Oftana, Dwight Ramos, Carl Vincent Tamayo, and Karl Kevin Quiambao contributed 13, 12, 11, and 10 points, respectively, showcasing the team’s depth.

In a post-game interview, Brownlee emphasized the importance of teamwork and defense in their resounding victory. 

Coach Tim Cone’s instructions to share the ball, cover defensively, and focus on ball movement resonated with the team, leading to their comprehensive win.

Cone, expressing pride during the post-game press conference, commended the Nationals for their hard work on both ends of the floor. He acknowledged the talent of Chinese Taipei but highlighted how Gilas’ relentless defense made them look bad.

The coach expressed his satisfaction with the team’s commitment to playing both sides of the ball.

Gilas Pilipinas dominated various statistical categories, including rebounding, assists, blocks, fast break points, second-chance points, points in the paint, and points from the bench. 

The team’s commitment to defense was evident, demanding contributions from all players.

Looking ahead to the second window, Gilas Pilipinas, ranked 38th, is set to face the formidable 8th-ranked Latvia in June. 

Coach Cone revealed plans to assemble the team 10 days before the game, considering a training camp or friendlies with European national teams, including invitations from Lithuania, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic.

As the players return to their club teams in the UAAP, NCAA, PBA, and Japan B, the team remains optimistic about their journey in the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers. 

With a solid foundation built on teamwork, defense, and rigorous preparations, Gilas Pilipinas is ready to face the challenges that lie ahead.

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