FIBA OQT

Brazil tactic vs Brownlee works to perfection as Gilas Pilipinas bows out

Delfin Dioquino

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Brazil tactic vs Brownlee works to perfection as Gilas Pilipinas bows out

DRIVE. Justin Brownlee in action for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

FIBA

Brazil puts the clamps on Justin Brownlee to eliminate Gilas Pilipinas and advance to the finale of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament

MANILA, Philippines – Brazil knew that beating Gilas Pilipinas required preventing Justin Brownlee from wreaking havoc.

And that was exactly what happened as Brazil put the clamps on Brownlee in its 71-60 win over the Philippines to advance to the finale of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Riga, Latvia, on Saturday, July 6.

Brownlee finished with a tournament-low 15 points and committed 4 turnovers in the loss that marked the end of their Olympic bid after being pestered by the likes of Georginho de Paula, Leo Meindl, and Lucas Dias.

“Me, Leo, and coach had a talk yesterday about Brownlee and he told us to try to stop him because he was shooting the ball like 20 times a game,” said De Paula.

“We had to cut his percentage to below 48% because he was shooting the ball pretty well.”

Brownlee dominated in the group stage as he put the Philippines on his back in an upset win over Latvia and in a close loss to Georgia, averaging 27 points on an efficient 53% clip to go with 8.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists.

He looked on his way to another scoring masterclass after torching Brazil with 12 first-half points to help the Philippines build a 33-27 lead.

But the Brazil defense made life hell for Brownlee the rest of the way as the naturalized star got limited to just 3 points in the entire second half and ended the game making only 5 of his 16 field goals for a low 31% shooting.

“They play in the triangle offense, so we knew how they move and we were following him. Wherever he goes, we were there. I think we did a great job,” said De Paula.

With Brownlee contained and big man Kai Sotto unable to play due to his rib injury, the Philippines scored one-third lower than its previous average of 91.5 points – a mark that ranked No. 1 in this OQT after the group stage.

For Brazil head coach Aleksandar Petrovic, that was a remarkable defensive work for his squad.

“We can be proud how we cut every single triangle game from the Philippines. We cut them everything. They stayed 31 points below what they averaged in their first two games. We cut the percentage of the shots,” said Petrovic.

“When the Philippines scores 60 points, in my opinion, we made a huge job.”

Brazil faces the winner of the other semifinal pairing between Latvia and Cameroon for a place in the Paris Games. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.