Gilas scores wire-to-wire tune-up game win over Taiwan Mustangs

Dwight Ramos leads Gilas to an impressive tune-up win over Taiwan (Russell Palma/

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team pulled off a convincing win over the Taiwan Mustangs, 74-64, during their friendly tune-up game on June 24, 2024, at the PhilSports Arena.

Gilas’ friendly match against Taiwan marked the beginning of their official preparations for their upcoming campaign in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) that will run from July 2 to July 7.

Despite a short period of training before going up against the Mustangs, Gilas’ familiarity and chemistry were still evident in their performance as the squad still relied on their crisp ball movement to generate most of their points.

From the get-go, Gilas quickly imposed their will in front of their home fans as baskets from June Mar Fajardo, Dwight Ramos, Chris Newsome, and Calvin Oftana helped them cruise to an early 14-2 advantage.

After that fiery hot sequence for the home bets, Gilas immediately jumped into the driver’s seat and let Taiwan play catch-up for most of the game.

Although the visiting club had two memorable runs that helped them inch close to within single digits at the end of the first frame and midway through the third, Gilas showed they always had answers and countered them all that ballooned their cushion back to double digits.

During Taiwan’s blitzing third-quarter rampage, Gilas retaliated with a momentum-clinching 17-3 scoring run that officially fended off the Mustang’s courageous fightback attempt.

Dwight Ramos led the way for Gilas after top-scoring the squad with 19 points built from an efficient 7/11 shooting from the field.

Aside from his solid offensive night, the steady guard also contributed on the defensive end and tallied four big steals to go alongside with three rebounds.

The returning Justin Brownlee also stepped up for Gilas and finished with a double-double performance of 12 points, 15 rebounds, and three steals.

Gilas’ huge frontcourt duo of Kai Sotto and June Mar Fajardo then added nine and eight points, respectively.