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Gilas Pilipinas Is Destroying Teams In FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

The Nationals showcase its regional dominance, culminating their first two matchups of the FIBA 2025 Asia Cup qualifiers in dominating fashion.
Gilas Pilipinas
James Francisco

Gilas Pilipinas fortifies its eventual 2024 Paris Olympic Games run, dismantling its neighboring counterparts in seeking 2025 FIBA Asia Cup qualification. The 38th-ranked nation squared off against Group B participants Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei, routing them by an average of 41-and-a-half points during the February 22 and 25, 2024, contests.

Paying a visit north

YouTube: One Sports

Under Head Coach Tim Cone’s reformed structure, the undersized 12-man Gilas Pilipinas roster docked in Hong Kong, China for a matchup against the 119th-ranked home team, without seven-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo and Toyama Grouses’ AJ Edu due to injury. The Nationals rallied behind Kai Sotto’s 13-point and 15-rebound outing, breaking a tight battle come the second half.

In front of what was initially a four-point deficit, the Philippines stormed out of the Tsuen Wan Stadium gates, limiting the opposition to nine, compared to their 30-point third quarter. As Hong Kong, China attempted a resurgence in the fourth, the blue-red-and-yellow force was seemingly unstoppable, managing a 30-point victory come the final buzzer. 

Gilas Pilipinas’ naturalized option, Justin Brownlee, orchestrated a 16-7-7 stat line as Kevin Quiambao and Jaime Malonzo poured double-digit scoring numbers off the bench.

A convincing homestand

YouTube: One Sports

Previously regarded as a more “challenging” opponent, Chinese Taipei sits 40 places below the Philippines (compared to Hong Kong’s 81 disparity). The visitors managed a promising start, sparking back-and-forth blows, which Gilas Pilipinas quickly extinguished near the end of the first.

A product of Cone’s impenetrable defense, the Nationals held their neighbors to under 15 points per quarter, while Gilas’ scoring barrage culminated in a 106-53 victory. Brownlee led the way with a 26-point and 13-rebound double-double, while Sotto provided 18 markers and 10 boards on 60 percent shooting. Quiambao and Calvin Oftana pitched in 10 and 13, while Japan B.League Asian imports Dwight Ramos and Carl Tamayo provided 12 and 11 respectively.

Following their back-to-back victories, they regroup against the 21st-ranked New Zealand squad on November 21, 2024, as the final segment of the stage.

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