Mighty Sports survives a nailbiter against Homenetmen Lebanon, 96-89, to remain spotless in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship Sunday night.
Jeremiah Gray, Justin Brownlee and Randolph Morris combine for 67 points in the win locking a quarterfinals spot for the Philippine representatives.
The game got off to a tightly contested first quarter as both teams scored back-to-back baskets early on. But the Alex Wongchuking-owned squad managed to pull away after Jeremiah Gray sank two three pointers towards the end of the period to lead 25-18.
In the second quarter, Walter Muñoz led an offensive charge against Mighty as he managed to pull Homenetmen Lebanon to within five points, 41-36. Gray answered with a short outburst to increase Mighty’s lead to 11 points.
Juan Gomez de Liaño was then fouled on a three point attempt to put Mighty up 51-44 to close the first half.
In the second half, Mighty immediately outpaced Homenetmen who kept missing shots to open the third period.
Jason Brickman sank two three-pointers for Mighty to increase the lead to 14.
By the fourth quarter, Muñoz proved troublesome as he led a run to cut Mighty’s lead to single digits towards the closing minutes.
Homenetmen came close by as much as four points in the last two minutes but coach Charles Tiu called in last minute adjustments to pull defensive stops making the opponent miss crucial baskets over Mighty.
Justin Brownlee shook off a cold streak by shooting four consecutive foul shots in the final seconds to win the game, 96-89.
Morris and Gray led their team with 24 points each while Brownlee notched a double-double with 19 points,13 rebounds and 7 assists.
Gomez de Liaño and Brickman added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Homenetmen’s Muñoz finished with a game-high 42 points.
Mighty Sports will face Al-Wahda Syria on Wednesday, February 6, 1:00 AM (PHL time).
Photo by Herbert Iponla