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FIBA: Gilas Men overwhelm Hong Kong, marking strong start to new era


Gilas Pilipinas Men ushered their new era on a strong note.

In the first-ever FIBA game of the Philippines under Tim Cone, Gilas torched Hong Kong, taking a 94-64 win to open their FIBA Asia Cup Qualification campaign on Thursday evening at Tsuen Wan Stadium.

The resounding victory not only marked a new era for the national team but also showcased the formidable prowess instilled by Cone, setting the stage for an exciting and promising journey ahead.

The troika of Kai Sotto, Justin Brownlee, and Jamie Malonzo powered Gilas’ third-quarter breakaway, turning a slim 41-37 lead into a 71-46 cushion.

The trio combined for half of the Filipinos’ 30-point output during the said frame while locking Hong Kong down to just eight points.

“I thought Hong Kong, China played a great first half and shocked us. I didn’t think that they would play as they did. They really surprised us with the way they could shoot the ball,” said Cone.

Reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player Kevin Quiambao of La Salle put the finishing touches in the contest, scoring the majority of his points in the closing minutes of the contest and giving Gilas a lead that went to as high as 30 points — the final margin of the game.

2025-FIBA-Asia-Cup-Philippines-vs-Hong-Kong-Justin-Brownlee FIBA: Gilas Men overwhelm Hong Kong, marking strong start to new era Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

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In his first game back since giving the Philippines gold in the 19th Asian Games, Brownlee tallied 16 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals in 27 minutes of action.

Quiambao went 7-of-12 from the field for 15 points, Sotto notched a double-double of 13 points and 15 rebounds with two blocks, while Malonzo chipped in 11 markers to complete the double-digit scorers for Gilas.

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All players fielded by Cone were able to score in the contest.

The Philippines only fielded 11 players for this window as June Mar Fajardo (calf) and AJ Edu (meniscus) were out. Japeth Aguilar, who was unretired for the window, played 11 minutes for six points, three rebounds, and two steals.

The Philippines will next host Chinese-Taipei on Sunday at Philsports Arena.

Chinese-Taipei bowed to New Zealand in the other Group B game of the day, 69-89. The game was played at the Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium.

Shiu Wah Leung led Hong Kong, which will face New Zealand next in Auckland on Sunday, with 15 points built on five triples.

Former Bay Area big man Duncan Reid tallied 12 points, five rebounds, and four steals.

The Scores:

Philippines 94 Brownlee 16, Quiambao 15, Sotto 13, Malonzo 11, Ramos 9, Newsome 7, Aguilar 6, Oftana 5, Thompson 5, Perez 5, Tamayo 2.

Hong Kong 64 – Leung 15, Xu 13, Reid 12, Yeung 12, Yang 5, Tsoi 4, So 3, Chan 0, Hon 0, Liu 0, Wong 0, Tam 0.

Quarterscores: 23-15, 41-37, 71-46, 94-64

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