Gilas aims to pull off even better performance vs Chinese Taipei

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Gilas aims to pull off even better performance vs Chinese Taipei
Gilas Pilipinas' Kevin Quiambao (28)

MANILA, Philippines -- Coming off a 30-point demolition of Hong Kong just a few days ago, Gilas Pilipinas is eyeing to play better against Chinese Taipei on Sunday.

Gilas will be hosting Chinese Taipei at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

This, as they aim to sweep the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

In an interview after the Nationals’ 94-64 win over Hong Kong on Thursday, Kevin Quiambao said there are a lot of things to be done.

“For me, we just got to be better than what we did earlier. Coach [Tim Cone] always says that every possession counts, and we move on to the next,” Quiambao told reporters.

The reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player and champion had 15 points against Hong Kong, making seven of his 12 field goal attempts in 17 minutes.

Eleven of his 15 tries came in the fourth quarter, when the game was out of reach.

“We move on to Chinese Taipei, to Manila against Taiwan. [We need to] prepare hard for them,” the forward added.

Gilas pulled away in the third quarter against Hong Kong, turning a 41-37 halftime lead into a 71-46 cushion heading into the final quarter.

The lead grew to as much as 31 points, 92-61, with a Quiambao deuce.

On Sunday, Chinese Taipei will try to bounce back from a big loss against New Zealand, 89-69.

Compared to Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei has a taller frontline, bolstered by 6-foot-5 small forward Chia Ho Chang, 6-foot-6 center Zong Rong Hsieh, and 6-foot-7 center Cheng Lin.

Gilas will need another big game from 7-foot-3 big man Kai Sotto, who dominated Hong Kong on Thursday with 13 points and 15 rebounds.

Big men Japeth Aguilar and Carl Tamayo will also be banked on by the team on Sunday.

Hotshot Cheng Liu paced Chinese Taipei against New Zealand, finishing with 20 points, four steals, two rebounds and two assists.

Naturalized player Justin Brownlee is expected to continually lead the Nationals.

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