Mighty Sports-Philippines improves to 2-0 in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship after outlasting the UAE National Team, 86-78, Saturday night.
Both squads locked horns early on exchanging baskets midway into the first quarter until Mighty gained momentum at the 4:00 mark after back-to-back baskets by Justin Brownlee.
UAE’s Matar Abdullah went hot sinking 3-of-3 three pointers to cap the first period with the guests still ahead five 5 points.
In the second period, Randolph Morris led the attack with a barrage of midrange jumpers to put the Charles Tiu-led team up by double-digits.
UAE went cold as Roosevelt Adams sank a three point shot to further increase Mighty’s lead, 41-25.
But the home team managed a 7-point spurt with three and a half minutes left in the half to pull in closer by 9 points.
Mighty then regained control of the pace after a Jeremiah Gray block and fastbreak sequence to lead, 49-36, to close the first segment.
Mighty’s 18 turnovers caught up on them by the fourth quarter giving UAE the chance to cut the lead down to 9 points, 84-75, with two minutes left in the game.
Tiu opted for a small line up in the closing minutes to hold-off UAE’s fast-paced adjustment down the stretch.
The Philippine team regained composure after a thunderous dunk by Brownlee much to the delight of the Filipino crowd, sealing the game with an 86-78 victory.
Morris leads all scorers 20 points on an 85% shooting clip with 7 rebounds. Roosevelt Adams and Brownlee chipped in with 19 and 18 points apiece.
Lamar Odom failed to score but contributed 5 rebounds and an assist in just 13 minutes of action.
UAE’s Rashed Al Zaabi led his team with 19 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals and Omar Alshabibi tallied 18 points and 9 boards.
The Alex and Caesar Wongchuking-owned crew has now surpassed their win total from their dismal showing two years ago to stay perfect in the tournament. Next up, they will face a tougher opponent in Homenetmen Lebanon on Monday.
Mighty Sports is backed by Healthcube, Go For Gold, SMDC and Oriental Group.
Photo by Jon Madriaga via PEBC Facebook.