Gilas Pilipinas drops nail-biting friendly game against Poland

Justin Brownlee and Gilas fell at the hands of Poland in their second consecutive international tune-up game (Wojciech Figurski/Polish Basketball Federation)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team was so close to scoring an upset over the higher-ranked Polish national hoops team but fell short in the final frame, 82-80, during another international friendly tune-up game on June 30, 2024, at Arena Sosnowiec in Poland.

After playing catch-up for most of the game, Gilas finally leveled Poland’s intensity in the fourth quarter after pulling off several scoring runs that kept themselves within striking distance.

Gilas was already in deep trouble after trailing by 10 points, 79-69, with only 3:23 left in the game. However, Dwight Ramos provided a momentum-boosting scoring avalanche that pulled the Filipinos to within five points.

The savvy Gilas guard hosted a personal offensive run, scoring eight straight points that rekindled Gilas’ chance to upset the world no. 15 ranked basketball nation.

Gilas had another chance to mount another scoring run in the final minute of the game but Chris Newsome failed to make a perfect trip to the charity stripe that helped Poland buy more time to delay the ball in the next possession.

Unfortunately for the Tim Cone-led squad, time wasn’t on their side, capping off their two-game international friendly stint with a 0-2 record.

Despite the loss, it was still a better showing than their tune-up against Turkey where they shot the leather from the three-point territory cold.

In their game against Poland, Gilas finally had their scoring sets going and kept the game close in the second half but the double-digit lead that their international opponents built made it hard for them to execute a comeback performance.

Justin Brownlee led the Filipinos with a team-high performance of 30 points, three rebounds, and three assists, making him the squad’s top scorer in their back-to-back international friendly campaign.

Backstopping Brownlee’s terrific outing was Ramos who bounced back from his shooting woes against Turkey, dropping 16 markers, nine boards, and five dimes in their close loss against Poland.


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