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Gilas starts slow, finishes strong in 30-point win over HK

February 23 ------ GILAS Pilipinas went full throttle in the third quarter to defeat host Hong Kong, 94-64, to start its Fiba Asia Cup 2025 qualifiers campaign on a high note at the Tsuen Wan Stadium. The Nationals outscored the home team, 30-9, in the third quarter after leading by only four points at the half to give Tim Cone a win in his debut as national coach tasked to oversee the program over the four-year Fiba cycle. 


Justin Brownlee and Kai Sotto figured prominently in a 10-0 run that allowed Gilas to grab a commanding 63-45 lead in the third canto. Brownlee finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in his first game for Gilas Pilipinas since winning the gold medal in the Asian Games last October. He was reinstated after a three-month period of eligibility for a doping violation. As a team, Gilas had 33 assists on 37 field goals. Sotto, meanwhile, added 13 points and 15 rebounds for Gilas Pilipinas including a slam during that telling third-quarter run. Kevin Quiambao was also impressive for Gilas as he had 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field.  


The Philippines now goes back home to play Chinese Taipei on Sunday at the Philsports Arena to cap off the first window of the Fiba qualifiers. The Nationals began the ballgame by scoring nine unanswered points, but the home squad found a way to keep the game close until halftime. Brownlee hit one of his three three-pointers in the game during a 5-0 start to the third quarter to pad the lead to 46-37, and Gilas never looked back. Jamie Malonzo had 11 points, while Dwight Ramos had an all-around game of nine points, six rebounds, and five assists for the Nationals, who were only playing with 11 men due to injuries to June Mar Fajardo and AJ Edu. Shiu Wah Leung had 15 points while Oliver Xu added 13 points for Hong Kong, which also got 12 points from former Bay Area Dragons player Duncan Reid. 


The scores: 

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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