Philippines upsets world No. 6 Latvia in FIBA Olympic qualifying tourney

2024 July 4

BIG UPSET. Justin Brownlee soars for a dunk as he leads Gilas Pilipinas upset world no. 6 Latvia, 89-80, in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024 in Riga, Lativa early Thursday (July 4, 2024-Manila time), Brownlee finished with a nearly triple-double performance of 26 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists for the ranked 37th Philippines. (FIBA photo)

MANILA – Gilas Pilipinas stunned the partisan crowd as the Filipinos scored huge upset against world no. 6 and host Latvia, 89-80, in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024 in Riga, Latvia early Thursday (Manila time).

The Filipinos, ranked 37th in the world, started the game with a sizzling 8-0 run, leading by as much as 18 points in the second period behind Justin Brownlee, Kai Sotto and June Mar Fajardo.

The host team fought back in the fourth quarter to reduce a 21-point lead, 71-56, to just 10 points but Brownlee completed a crucial four-point play that gave Gilas an 85-71 lead with only 3:29 left.

After winning the Asian Games gold in 2023 after 62 years, Gilas Pilipinas, under headcoach Tim Cone, made another history as the Philippines snatched their first win against a European team in 64 years.

According to FIBA website article, the last time the Philippines won against a team from Europe was during the 1960 Olympic Games against Spain, winning 84-82.

Brownlee led the Philippines with a nearly triple-double performance of 26 points, nine rebounds and nine assists while Sotto drilled 18 points and Dwight Ramos added 12 markers.

Gilas Pilipinas’ next game is against Georgia which absorbed an 55-83 loss to Latvia on Tuesday. 

Jelly Musico (PNA)