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FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

Cone lauds Gilas' 53-point rout of Chinese Taipei, but 2-0 just a 'baby step'

Cone lauds Gilas' 53-point rout of Chinese Taipei, but 2-0 just a 'baby step'

Gilas Pilipinas has completed a two-game sweep of the first window of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, but head coach Tim Cone said it's nothing but a 'baby step' towards their ultimate goal.

"I really liked the way we worked tonight, we just worked hard on both sides of the floor and did that throughout the whole game. I think we have to remember that Chinese Taipei played a top 20 team just three days ago and they played all the way to the end of the game," Cone said in the post-game press conference.

"This 2-0 start is great, but it’s still a baby step."

The nationals kicked off the new era under Cone by bucking a slow start before eking out a 94-64 win against Hong Kong last Thursday, with the decorated tactician reminding his wards to come up with a better game ahead of their game against Chinese Taipei four days later. 

Gilas responded the best way possible. 

By the halftime break against world no. 78 Chinese Taipei, Gilas was already enjoying a 52-27 cushion with Justin Brownlee and Kai Sotto leading the charge. They even extended that lead to as high as 54 as Chinese Taipei never showed resistance until the final buzzer. 

Gilas made sure not to treat the game lightly, especially against a foe who just faced a powerhouse team in New Zealand. 

To open their campaign, Chinese Taipei absorbed an 89-69 loss to the Tall Blacks, who were the bronze medal winners in the previous 2022 FIBA Asia Cup.

"Chinese Taipei is not a bad team but we just came out strong defensively and with team defense, the offense just came," Sotto, who poured in 18 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks, said. 

"I'm just happy that everyone contributed offensively and defensively."

—JKC, GMA Integrated News