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Tiebreaker Times

2024 Summer Olympics

Brazil’s game plan halts Brownlee’s dominance

Though Filipino fans are already accustomed to his heroics, the world got to know who Justin Brownlee is during the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024 in Riga.

The 6-foot-6 Tifton, Georgia-born, naturalized Filipino dazzled in the group stages of the OQT, averaging 27.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.5 assists.

But with a day’s break before the semifinals, Brazil’s Croatian head coach Aleksandar Petrovic made sure his team was ready to focus on Brownlee.

“We had a talk with our coach yesterday about Brownlee. He told us to stop him because he’d really shoot the ball 20 times a game, but we have to cut his percentage to below 48 percent because he was shooting the ball really well,” shared Georginho de Paula, a 6-foot-6 winger who plays for the German team Ratiopharm Ulm.

During the first half, Brownlee was on his way to another dominant performance, tallying 12 points and helping Gilas build a 33-27 lead.

But in the second half, the trio of De Paula, Leo Meindl, and Lucas Dias took turns harassing Brownlee.

Even when Gilas went small with Brownlee playing the four and Japeth Aguilar handling the five duties, Petrovic already had a plan in place.

2024-FIBA-OQT-Gilas-vs-Brazil-Justin-Brownlee-2 Brazil’s game plan halts Brownlee’s dominance 2024 Summer Olympics Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news


“Lucas Dias was excellent. We moved him when the Philippines played Brownlee at the four spot. We moved other guys to the perimeter because we wanted to continue our defense on Brownlee,” Petrovic remarked about Dias, an agile 6-foot-10 big who plays in Brazil’s pro league.

Brownlee only went 1-of-5 from the field in the last 20 minutes of the game, finishing with 15 points.

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Petrovic had a well-crafted game plan for Gilas.

In fact, he was ready for the triangle.

He kept the Philippines at bay, resulting in a 71-60 victory.

“We can be proud of how we cut every single triangle play of the Philippines,” said Petrovic.

“We cut everything. They stayed below 31 points of their average in the first two games. We cut their shooting percentage.”

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