Mighty routed Al Wahda Syria in a tightly contested game, 85-81, to sweep the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship eliminations clinching the top spot in the B division in the Round of 8.
Al Wahda, not Homenet Lebanon, proved to be the Philippine team’s toughest test yet as the game became a back-and-forth of sorts in the first three quarters.
Led by Bil-al Abdullah in the opening quarter, Syria went hot in the first half after capitalizing on Mighty failing to connect on their shots.
The apparel and accessories squad also had to overcome team captain Justin Brownlee’s foul trouble early on after incurring 3 fouls in the game’s first 12 minutes.
In another tough break, Mighty got its first injury scare after Roosevelt Adams, who already had 11 points, received an elbow to the groin from a Bil-al Abdullah drive at the 3:39 mark of the second quarter.
Syria took advantage of Adams’ and Brownlee’s absence to lead a 7-0 run.
However, Mighty stayed relevant thanks to Randolph Morris who anchored an offensive charge to tie the game, 41-41, towards halftime.
In the third quarter, Justin Brownlee returned with a vengeance to lead a 22-10 run to spark his team’s first comeback.
But Abdullah and Jordan Adams kept pestering the Charles Tiu-led Mighty to lead Al Wahda’s offense, 60-65, towards the closing period.
Mighty remained sharp in the fourth quarter after Adams sank a three-pointer to provide another spark. Brownlee followed with his own triple to take the lead, 66-65.
Al Wahda then made a 9-4 run to lead 70-76 with 4:00 minutes left.
Then, Jeremiah Gray had an almost costly turnover after a traveling violation but quickly made up with a posterizing block against Syria’s Adams. Roosevelt Adams succeeded the defensive play with a triple to get Mighty within two points, 74-76.
Mighty pumped up the volume on the defensive end causing Syria to miss its next shots. In the following play, Randolph Morris was fouled on a layup attempt then sank both foul shots to tie the game.
Jason Brickman nailed a floater to put Mighty up by 5, 81-76, with less than two minutes remaining.
Another injury scare came for Mighty at the 1:31 marker when Brownlee tweaked his knee after landing from a successful block over Jordan Adams. He was escorted by Mighty medical staff to the bench then sat out the rest of the game.
Roosevelt Adams got the crowd on their feet after netting a triple to put his team up 84-76 with only 0:33 remaining in regulation.
Mighty, backed by Healthcube, Go For Gold, Oriental Game and SMDC, kept pulling the defensive stops to close the game, 85-81, to go up 4-0 and avoiding a three-way tie with Syria and Lebanon.
Justin Brownlee almost had a double-double but led all scorers with 27 points and 9 rebounds. Adams contributed 21 points with three 3s and 7 rebounds while Morris added 19 and 2 blocks.
Syria’s Adams and Abdullah finished with 22 and 16 points, respectively.
The Alexander and Caesar Wongchuking owned Mighty Sports will next face the Jordan National Team.
Schedule to be announced.