Gilas Pilipinas def. Bahrain, 89-61 (VIDEO) 2023 Asian Games | September 26

Photo credit: SBP |

Gilas Pilipinas Men opened their 2023 Asian Games Men's Basketball 5x5 Group C campaign with a victory, defeating Bahrain 89-61 on Tuesday, September 26 at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium. [VIDEO]

Leading by only 4 points at the end of the first quarter, Gilas used a strong 29-15 run in the second frame to extend their halftime lead to 51-33.

Justin Brownlee had a double-double of 20 points, a team-high 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and a block in 13 minutes of play. Ange Kouame finished with 15 points (4/7fg, 7/8ft), to go with 7 rebounds, 1 steal and a block. CJ Perez added 15 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals while

The collective team effort of Gilas was on full display and coach Tim Cone's effective management of the Gilas players' playing time played a key role in their performance. Gilas shot 46% from the field (30/65fg), including 7-of-21 shooting from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Bahrain had 19 out of 64 field goals and made 12 out of 38 attempts from three-point range. Gilas went 22 out of 29 from the free-throw line, while the Bahrain made 11 out of 15 free throws. The Philippines outrebounded Bahrain, 52-38, PHL had more assists 24-11 and more steals 11-9.

According to onesports, Coach Cone said, referring to Chris Ross, Arvin Tolentino, Kevin Alas, and CJ Perez - “If you noticed in the end of the game, the last six minutes of the game when we had a good lead, we let those four guys out there play together,”

“We let them play together just so they have more extended time executing and playing together and really get the feel of what we’re trying to do defensively, offensively.”

“That was important for us to get that extra time. We have seven guys who are really locked into what we do, but the other five guys are still trying to feel their way around,” he said. “And those are the guys who’re gonna decide how far we go because we need depth in this kind of tournament.” added Cone.

Gilas Pilipinas will be back in action on Thursday, September 28 at 11:00AM against Thailand (0-1) [LIVE] and will play their last preliminary round game against the Rondae Hollis Jefferson-led Jordan (1-0) on Saturday, September 30 at 5:30PM [LIVE]. In another Group C game today, Jordan defeated Thailand, 97-63.

The scores:

PHILIPPINES 89 - Brownlee 20, Perez 15, Kouame 15, Oftana 10, Lassiter 8, Fajardo 8, Thompson 5, Newsome 3, Alas 2, Aguilar 2, Ross 1, Tolentino 0.

BAHRAIN 61 - Almoathin 14, M Rashed 13, A Rashed 12, Buallay 8, Melad 6, Chism 5, Mo Hamoda 3, Kadhem 0, Alhaddad 0, Hasan 0, Alhassan 0, Mu Hamoda DNP.

Quarters: 22-18, 51-33, 72-47, 89-61. [VIDEO] | [STATS]

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