MANILA, Philippines – Mighty Sports Philippines set the tone for its 31st Dubai International Basketball Championship campaign with an 88-82 escape act over the United Arab Emirates national team early Friday, January 24, Philippine time.
In less than 24 hours since that final buzzer, the Philippine bets are set to do it all over again in their next game against Syria’s Al Ittihad Aleppo on the same day at 11 pm (7 pm in Dubai).
If last night’s survival against Fadi El Khatib’s 30-point eruption had any positives, it’s that Mighty’s import cast of Renaldo Balkman, Jelan Kendrick and McKenzie Moore are as good as they come.
Along with naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche and Fil-Am guard Mikey Williams, Kendrick showcased that he can be a reliable scorer on the catch while Balkman showed that he is still an all-around beast.
With the team just being fully built mere days before the tournament, head coach Charles Tiu has yet to unleash the full potential of his stacked local squad led by PBA veteran Beau Belga and amateur stars like Jamie Malonzo, Thirdy Ravena, Juan Gomez de Liaño, Isaac Go and Dave Ildefonso.
If that local lineup gets going, it’ll be tough to stop the Mighty train from bulldozing through the competition given what the import cast has already shown in day one.
Will Mighty Sports build on their winning momentum or will their Syrian foes splash a quick douse on their fire?
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