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Gilas secures 94-64 win against Hong Kong in FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers 

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SLAM DUNK. Gilas Pilipinas center Kai Sotto dunks as he finishes with a double-double performance of 13 points and 15 rebounds in the team’s convincing 94-64 victory over Hong Kong in the Fiba Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers 1st Window at the Tsuen Wan Stadium on Thursday night, February 22, 2024. FIBA PHOTO

Gilas Pilipinas demonstrated their dominance with a convincing 30-point victory over Hong Kong in the Fiba Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers 1st Window, sealing a 94-64 win at the Tsuen Wan Stadium on Thursday night, February 22, 2024.

Led by  Justin Brownlee and Kai Sotto, the Asian Games champions showcased their prowess, signaling their potential as formidable contenders for the continental crown in Saudi Arabia next year. 

The turning point of the game unfolded in a mesmerizing third period, where Gilas Pilipinas outscored the host team 30-9, leaving the crowd in awe.

The early stages of the contest hinted at a one-sided affair, with Gilas establishing an 11-point lead in the first quarter. 

However, Hong Kong China’s Leung Shiu Wah managed a buzzer-beater three, trimming the Gilas lead to just eight points after the opening 10 minutes. 

The hosts intensified their efforts in the second quarter, outscoring Gilas 22-18 and entering halftime only four points behind.

The defining moment came in the third quarter when Gilas Pilipinas unleashed an unstoppable offensive barrage, amassing 30 points to Hong Kong China’s mere nine. 

A decisive 12-0 run, extending from 53-45 to 65-45, sealed the fate of the game and firmly placed Gilas in control.

While the fourth quarter required maintaining focus, Hong Kong China struggled to mount a comeback, allowing the Philippines to comfortably secure the victory. 

Justin Brownlee, hailed as Gilas’ star at the Asian Games in Hangzhou last October, led the scoring with 16 points, complemented by seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals in just over 27 minutes on the court.

Kai Sotto, a force to be reckoned with, contributed 13 points, dominated the boards with a game-high 15 rebounds (12 defensive, three offensive), and showcased his defensive prowess with an assist, a steal, and two blocks during his 20 minutes and 36 seconds on the court.

Other key contributors included Karl Quiambao, who notched 15 points, and Jamie Malonzo, adding 11 points to the team’s impressive total. Despite missing key players such as June Mar Fajardo and AJ Edu due to injuries, Gilas Pilipinas exhibited depth and resilience, highlighting their versatility on the court.

The convincing win sets a positive tone for Gilas Pilipinas as they return home, gearing up to face Chinese Taipei on Sunday at the Philsports Arena to conclude the first window of the FIBA qualifiers. The stellar performances from Brownlee, Sotto, and the entire team bode well for their aspirations in the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup.

The boxscores:

Philippines 94 – Brownlee 16, Quiambao 15, Sotto 13, Malonzo 11, Ramos 9, Newsome 7, Aguilar 6, Oftana 5, Perez 5, Thompson 5, Tamayo 2.

Hong Kong 64 – Leung 15, Xu 13, Yeung 12, Reid 12, Yang 5, Tsoi 4, So 3, Hon 0, Liu 0, Tam 0, Wong 0, Chan 0.

Quarters: 23-15; 41-37; 71-46; 94-64.

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