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Tiebreaker Times
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2024 Summer Olympics

Brownlee, Gilas Men end friendly series with narrow defeat to Poland

By: Ernest Tuazon

Gilas Pilipinas Men’s rally fell just short, bowing to world No. 15 Poland, 82-80, in their final friendly before the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) on Sunday morning (Manila time) at Arena Sosnowiec in Poland.

Justin Brownlee led Gilas with 30 points, three rebounds, and three assists, while Dwight Ramos chipped in 16 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.

Down 79-69 with 3:23 left, Ramos scored eight straight points for the world No. 37 Gilas to cut Poland’s lead to five with 1:43 remaining, 82-77.

However, Chris Newsome split his free throws, and a layup by CJ Perez came too late, as the Philippines ended their three-game friendly series with a 1-2 record before the OQT.

Gilas defeated the Asian Team club Taiwan Mustangs, 74-64, and lost to Turkey, 84-73.

Poland took a 67-56 lead to start the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run, capped by a layup from Andrzej Pluta.

Poland led by as much as eight to open the quarter, 50-42, but a personal seven-point run from Brownlee allowed Gilas to keep pace, tying the game at 50-all.

Another jumper by the Ginebra star trimmed the Philippines’ deficit to 58-56 at the end of the third quarter.

The undersized Gilas, missing the services of AJ Edu and Scottie Thompson due to injuries, outrebounded Poland, 42-21.

The Philippines also shot an efficient 52 percent from the field (32-of-61) compared to Poland’s 45 percent (28-of-61).

Michal Sokolowski led Poland with 21 points and five assists, while San Antonio Spurs guard Jeremy Sochan finished with eight points and four rebounds.

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June Mar Fajardo tallied 10 points and three rebounds, while Kai Sotto recorded an eight-point, 11-rebound performance for the Philippines.

Gilas Pilipinas will open the OQT against Latvia on July 4, Thursday, at 12 a.m. in Riga, Latvia.

The Scores:

Poland 82 – Sokolowski 21, Balcerowski 10, Pluta 8, Sochan 8, Ponitka 7, Zyskowski 6, Milicic 5, Dziewa 5, Michalak 5, Nizol 5, Mazurczak 2, Zolnierewicz 0.

Philippines 80 – Brownlee 30, Ramos 16, Fajardo 10, Sotto 8, Newsome 6, Tamayo 4, Perez 2, Oftana 0, Quiambao 0

Quarterscores: 23-16, 38-41, 56-58, 80-82

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