Justin Brownlee backed up the hype of his Gilas Pilipinas debut and starred in a 107-96 win over Lebanon in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena on Friday, February 24.
Brownlee finished with 17 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals as the Filipinos completed their payback after losing to the Cedars 85-81 in Beirut last August.
The Philippines spread the wealth with six players in double-figure scoring as Jamie Malonzo backstopped Brownlee with 15 points and 5 rebounds.
Gilas Pilipinas improved to 6-3. (READ: Brownlee stellar in debut as Gilas Pilipinas drubs Lebanon in home rout)
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Pride is on the line as Gilas Pilipinas battles Lebanon in the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
While it is practically a no-bearing game given the two nations are already qualified for the World Cup, the Filipinos aim to defend their home when they go up against the Cedars at the Philippine Arena on Friday, February 24.
It provides extra motivation that the Philippines lost to Lebanon on the road during their first encounter in the fourth window. (READ: Gilas Pilipinas eyes payback versus Lebanon)
Then led by Utah Jazz standout Jordan Clarkson, the Filipinos absorbed an 85-81 loss to the Lebanese before a jam-packed Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex crowd in Beirut last August.
Gilas Pilipinas looks to return the favor at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena, this time with resident Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee in tow.
Now a naturalized Filipino, Brownlee eyes a triumphant debut for the national team, which has been on a roll since its loss to Lebanon, winning all of its last three games to hike its record to 5-3.
Aside from Brownlee, the Philippines also banks on Dwight Ramos and June Mar Fajardo to deliver against the Cedars, who sit atop Group E with a near-perfect 7-1 card.
Ramos is set to play in all of the Filipinos’ games in the Asian Qualifiers, while Fajardo debuts after missing the first five windows.
Game time is 6 pm. (READ: How to watch Gilas Pilipinas’ FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers 2023 games)
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