2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers: Relentless Gilas Pilipinas overwhelm Chinese Taipei with 53-point humiliation for 2-0 start

Dwight Ramos goes for a dunk against Taiwanese defender in the Philippines-Chinese Taipei match in the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
PHOTO: FIBA
Coach Tim Cone's Philippine men's national basketball team just allowed Chinese Taipei to enjoy the lead within 27 seconds and after that, it was a long night to remember for the visitors.
Gilas Pilipinas did everything right from the get-go to close the first window of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on a high note, as celebrated by the ever-supportive Filipino crowd inside the PhilSports Arena on Sunday evening, February 25.
The nationals blasted the Taiwanese cagers by 53 points, 106-53, to go 2-0 in the standings of Group B.
Six Gilas players tallied double figures led by Justin Brownlee's double-double effort of 26 points and 13 rebounds, alongside five assists and two steals.
Kai Sotto flashed his kaiju game anew after churning out 18 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks, while Calvin Oftana sank three triples for 13 points with five rebounds and two steals.
Crowd favorite Dwight Ramos also delivered by scoring 12 and hauling three boards, Carl Tamayo registered 11 markers, six rebounds, and two assists, and Kevin Quiambao added 11 with six rebounds.
Gilas played unselfish basketball as proven by their 30 assists, with Scottie Thompson leading the Philippines in that category for the second consecutive game of the same stat line after dishing nine. He had two points, three rebounds, a steal, and a block as well.
Not only did Cone's wards find the open guys to score but they also dominated the rebounding department, 57-29. The reigning Asian Games champion got 18 offensive boards and scored 16 second chance points.
The Philippines closed the opening frame on top by 13, 26-13, with a waxing-hot 13-2 run down the stretch. Come the second period, Sotto and Brownlee helped the nationals establish a 25-point cushion going to the halftime break, 52-27.
Brownlee dropped 11 within 5:30 minutes in the third frame, delighting the crowd, before Quiambao took over in the latter part of the quarter with eight unanswered points for an 80-38 lead.
Chinese Taipei couldn't find an answer, failing to mount any comeback and trail by as much as 54 points to suffer its second blowout loss. In their Asia Cup Qualifiers opener, the Mao Sen Sang-mentored squad absorbed a lopsided 89-69 defeat to New Zealand.
Liu Cheng paced Taiwan as the lone double-digit scorer with 13 points, as the East Asians shot 29.6% on the field while committing more turnovers (16) than assists (11).
Gilas' superb start under Cone gave them the much-needed momentum ahead of their upcoming stint in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Riga, Latvia on July 2-7, as the nationals seek to reach the 2024 Paris Olympics and end the country's 52-year absence in the quadrennial meet.

Last Modified: 2024-Jul-14 10.09 +0800