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HomeBasketballHong Kong's Gilas Triumph Is Ignited by the Spirited Filipino Presence

Hong Kong’s Gilas Triumph Is Ignited by the Spirited Filipino Presence

Head coach Tim Cone said that Gilas Pilipinas drew a lot of energy from the energetic Filipino community in Hong Kong as they defeated their home team handily on Thursday night in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

With a final score of 94-64, Gilas defeated Hong Kong in a commanding performance that gave the Nationals a strong start to their qualifying campaign.

Even though they were in unfamiliar territory, a sizable Filipino crowd made itself known. The crowd echoed with chants of “Uwian na! (Let’s go home!)” even after Gilas took a decisive lead in the fourth quarter.

Head coach Tim Cone said that Gilas Pilipinas drew a lot of energy from the energetic Filipino community in Hong Kong as they defeated their home team handily on Thursday night in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

With a final score of 94-64, Gilas defeated Hong Kong in a commanding performance that gave the Nationals a strong start to their qualifying campaign.

Even though they were in unfamiliar territory, a sizable Filipino crowd made itself known. The crowd echoed with chants of “Uwian na! (Let’s go home!)” even after Gilas took a decisive lead in the fourth quarter.

In his post-game remarks to the media, Coach Cone stressed that Gilas has a big advantage over other teams because they have the backing of the fans, even when they are playing in hostile territory. “No matter where we play, there’s always a crowd that’s gonna be there behind us and cheering,” said the coach.

Cone expressed his gratitude to the supporters for their financial support of the club and credited their attendance for the team’s second-half success. “I think they were the reason why we came out there in the second half, made a couple of nice plays,” he said.

Though Gilas led 41-37 after a competitive first half, the team put up a strong showing in the third quarter, increasing their lead to 71-46 going into the last quarter.

The atmosphere grew more intense as the Filipino fans continued to support their side, leading to memorable plays like a reverse alley-oop finish by Kai Sotto, important 3-pointers, and a block by Scottie Thompson.

“Their cheering really lifted our spirits and got some momentum, and that kind of keyed our runaway there in the third quarter,” Cone said.

“Super appreciated they go out here to support us. Good thing we got the win for them, the OFWs that work here,” said Kevin Quiambao, who scored nine points in the fourth quarter.

The whole Gilas squad contributed to 33 of their 37 made field goals during the game, showcasing an impressive display of teamwork. Even though they only made 9 of 25 3-pointers, their efficiency rating from within the arc was high, as they successfully converted 28 of 54 attempts.

The Nationals take against Chinese Taipei on Sunday, February 25, at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City, hoping to build on their first-round victory.

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