Sep 28, 2023

Gilas survives hot-shooting Thais to book win no. 2

HANGZHOU - Gilas Pilipinas turned back a pesky and hot-shooting Thailand side, 87-72, for win no. 2 in the 19th Asian Games on Thursday.

Justin Brownlee shook off a 7-of-21 shooting from the field to finish with 22 points, while CJ Perez added 16 for the national team, which fended off a huge fourth quarter comeback by the Thais led by Tyler Lamb, to book the afternoon win at the Zijingang gymnasium.

Gilas led by as many as 68-47 late in the third period, before the Thais opened the final quarter behind a 13-0 blast which Lamb capped by a three-pointer to close within 68-63.

But Ange Kouame struck inside, Brownlee answered with a three, and Perez scored inside the paint to make it a 10-point Gilas lead and weather the late charge of Thailand.

Coach Tim Cone was hardly surprised with the way the Thais, a perennial Southeast Asian rivals of the Filipinos, gave Gilas a huge scare.

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"They came out with the idea that they'll take a lot 3s and Tyler Lamb got hot early. I thought we had a good challenge on a lot of those shots, and they still went in. So you got to tip your cap and say, 'hey you shot the ball well today,' said Cone.

The Thais struck for 13 three pointers on 38 percent shooting from beyond the arc, with Lamb hitting 6-of-12 to finish with a game-high of 29 points.

Gilas was 8-of-20 from the same area, but clobbered Thailand off the boards, 63-35, with Brownlee submitting 12 rebounds, Scottie Thompson with eight, and Perez with seven.

The Philippines also had more assists, 24-12.

Gilas will next face Jordan led by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on Saturday as they dispute the top spot in Pool C for an outright berth in the quarterfinals.

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Jordan also holds a 2-0 record after dispatching Bahrain earlier, 84-60, behind the team-high 17 points of Hollis-Jefferson, who led TNT Tropang Giga to the championship of the Governors' Cup last season.

Both Bahrain and Thailand are at the bottom with identical 0-2 records. (RG)

The scores

Philippines (87) - Brownlee 22, Perez 16, Fajardo 9, Oftana 8, Thompson 7, Aguilar 6, Kouame 5, Newsome 5, Alas 3, Tolentino 3, Lassiter 3, Ross 0.

Thailand (72) - Lamb 29, Lish 22, Muangboon 6, Morgan 5, Jakrawan 4, Klahan 4, Klaewnarong 2.

Quarterscores: 20-22; 41-35; 68-50; 87-72.