FIBA Asia Cup

Brownlee shines in homecoming game as Gilas Pilipinas blasts Chinese Taipei by 53

Delfin Dioquino

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Brownlee shines in homecoming game as Gilas Pilipinas blasts Chinese Taipei by 53

HOMECOMING. Justin Brownlee in action for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2024 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.


Justin Brownlee shows how much he missed playing at home as he powers Gilas Pilipinas to a sweep of the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

MANILA, Philippines – Tim Cone promised a better showing from Gilas Pilipinas after a tentative start to their FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers debut.

His charges did not disappoint as the Philippines claimed a wire-to-wire 106-53 win over the visiting Chinese Taipei to sweep the first window at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday, February 25. 

Playing his first game in the country in 10 months, Justin Brownlee imposed his will early and finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal to propel the Filipinos to a 2-0 record in Group B.

Brownlee showed how much he missed playing at home, scattering 11 points in the first quarter as the Philippines opened the floodgates early en route to the 53-point blowout.

“I have not played in front of a Philippines home crowd in a while. It feels great,” said Brownlee. “Unbelievable energy they came in with. You see all the jerseys and [hear] the non-stop cheering. It just feels great.”

Unlike their 94-64 rout of Hong Kong where they led by just two possessions at halftime, the Filipinos built a double-digit lead at the end of the opening quarter and never looked back.

The home squad held a 13-11 edge before closing out the first period on a blazing 13-2 run highlighted by 4 points each from young stars Kai Sotto and Dwight Ramos.

Pulling away

Sotto churned out 18 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks to backstop Brownlee as the two combined for 27 first-half points to help the Philippines mount a commanding 52-27 lead at halftime.

His offense taking a backseat in the second quarter, Brownlee took over again in the third period and erupted for 11 points in a span of 5:30 minutes, much to the delight of the mammoth crowd at the 10,000-seater venue.

“It feels great hearing the cheers and the energy they always bring. Of course, the passion is just unbelievable,” said Brownlee.

Gilas Pilipinas’ lead breached the 40-point mark when Kevin Quiambao ran off 8 unanswered points late in the third frame for an 80-38 cushion.

Quiambao put up 10 points and 6 rebounds, Calvin Oftana tallied 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Carl Tamayo chimed in 11 points and 6 rebounds.

Ramos added 12 points on top of 3 rebounds and 2 steals as six players scored in double figures for a balanced attack by the hosts.

“I really liked the way we worked tonight. We just really worked hard on both sides of the floor and did that for the whole game of 48 minutes,” said head coach Tim Cone.

Liu Cheng wound up as the only Taiwanese player in twin-digit scoring with 13 points as the Philippines contained Chinese Taipei to a measly 29.6% clip and forcing the visitors to commit more turnovers (16) than assists (11).

It was a lopsided win not even Cone expected, especially after Chinese Taipei gave world No. 21 New Zealand a challenge before absorbing an 89-69 loss in their Asia Cup Qualifiers opener.

“We played the same team and these guys just worked their tails off and made [Chinese Taipei] look bad. And they’re not that bad, they’re a really talented team,” said Cone.

Although tied with New Zealand with identical 2-0 cards, Gilas Pilipinas owns the top spot in Group B with an accumulated winning margin of a whopping 83 points.

The Scores

Philippines 106 – Brownlee 26, Sotto 18, Oftana 13, Ramos 12, Tamayo 11, Quiambao 10, Aguilar 8, Perez 4, Newsome 2, Thompson 2.

Chinese Taipei 53 – Liu 13, S. Lin 8, Z. Hsieh 6, Wang 6, Chang 4, B. Lin 3, C. C. Lin 3, Chen 2, C. Lin 2, Gao 2, Yu 2, Y. Hsieh 2.

Quarters: 26-13, 52-27, 82-41, 106-53.


Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Person, Human, Clothing


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.