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MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas survived one of the rare times Justin Brownlee struggled offensively and eked out an 87-72 win over Thailand to stay unbeaten in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on Thursday, September 28.
Brownlee made just 8 of his 27 field goals (30%) but still finished with an all-around effort of 22 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals to propel the Filipinos to a 2-0 record in Pool C.
Notwithstanding his shooting woes, Brownlee hit key buckets in the fourth quarter as the Philippines weathered a comeback storm from Thailand powered by Frederick Lish, who scattered 12 of his 22 points in the period.
Thailand got buried 50-68 going into the final frame before Lish scored 7 points in a blazing 15-2 run that cut their deficit to 65-70.
But Brownlee pulled through when it mattered most, sparking and capping a 9-3 blitz with a three-pointer and a pair of free throws that restored order for the Filipinos.
CJ Perez finished with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals, while Scottie Thompson flirted with a triple-double after posting 7 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals.
June Mar Fajardo added 9 points and 6 rebounds for Gilas Pilipinas, which made up for its spotty 39% shooting (32-of-82) by hauling down a whopping 63 rebounds.
It was such a dominant performance on the boards for the Filipinos that their 34 offensive rebounds nearly matched the Thais’ total of 35 rebounds.
Tyler Lamb paced Thailand with a game-high 29 points, although he got limited to just 8 points in the pivotal second half.
Lamb erupted for 14 points as his side grabbed a 22-20 lead at the end of the opening quarter before the Filipinos seized control in the middle periods, outscoring the Thais 48-28 over that stretch.
Thailand fell to 0-2.
Gilas Pilipinas faces PBA Best Import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jordan in a battle of unbeaten teams on Saturday, September 30, as they dispute an outright quarterfinal berth.
Only the top team from each of the four groups will directly qualify for the quarterfinals.
Philippines 87 – Brownlee 22, Perez 16, Fajardo 9, Oftana 8, Thompson 7, Aguilar 6, Kouame 5, Newsome 5, Alas 3, Tolentino 3, Lassiter 3, Ross 0.
Thailand 72 – Lamb 29, Lish 22, Muangboon 6, Morgan 5, Jakrawan 4, Klahan 4, Klaewnarong 2, Towaroj 0, Boonserm 0, Jaisanuk 0.
Quarters: 20-22, 41-35, 68-50, 87-72.