Rex Neil Falgome

Kai Sotto tallied his first double-double since suiting in the senior Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team to lead the Philippines in a 30-point victory against Hong Kong, 94-64, in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers at the Tsuen Wan Stadium on Thursday, February 22.

Photo Courtesy of Ezra Acayan

The 7 '3 big man recorded 13 points and 15 rebounds on top of one assist, one steal, and two blocks in 20 minutes and 36 seconds of court time.

Meanwhile, naturalized Gilas Pilipinas player Justin Brownlee also made his presence felt as he went all-around with 16 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

Gilas Pilipinas started strong as they run out to a commanding 11-point lead in the opening quarter before Shiu Wah Leung of Hong Kong drilled a buzzer-beater three to cut the Gilas lead to a single digit, 23-15, in the first 10 minutes of the ball game.

Hong Kong gained momentum in the second quarter and were able to hold the visiting team to just 18 quarter points while scoring 22 points in the said quarter alone which put themselves in striking distance, 41-37, going to half time.

But Gilas were able to pull-off a tremendous response, putting up 30 points to Hong Kong’s nine third quarter points, including a 12-0 run that resulted in a 65-45 lead.

While the Tim Cone-led squad continued putting buckets in the last quarter, the host team players never got anything going and the Gilas easily took the game.

De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archer Kevin Quiambao also put up an impressive outing, scoring 15 points along with three rebounds, and two assists, while Jamie James Malonzo added 11 markers.

Leung led Hong Kong China with 15 points as teammates Oliver Xu, Duncan Ouerbeck Reid, and Sui Hung Yeung added 13, 12, and 12 points, respectively.

Gilas will now travel home and will clash against Chinese Taipei on Sunday at PhilSport Arena in Pasig.