US basketball

Gomez de Liaño, Ravena spark up Mighty blowout over ES Rades

JR Isaga
Gomez de Liaño, Ravena spark up Mighty blowout over ES Rades
Juan Gomez de Liaño and Thirdy Ravena flash their best game yet in Dubai as Mighty Sports stays unbeaten in 3 games




MANILA, Philippines – Juan Gomez de Liaño was a man on a mission in Mighty Sports Philippines’ 84-66 blowout win over ES Rades Tunisia in the 31st Dubai International Basketball Championship on Tuesday, January 28.

The collegiate star showed up against the seasoned Tunisians and finished with a tournament-best 12 points, all from a 4-of-5 clip from three-point land.

Not to be outdone, fellow amateur stalwart Thirdy Ravena also had his best game yet in Dubai with 8 markers, 2 assists and 2 steals while playing suffocating defense.

Mighty’s former NBA player duo of Andray Blatche and Renaldo Balkman, meanwhile, delivered 18 markers apiece as the undefeated Philippine team won their third-straight game in the annual event. 

The same could not be said for ES Rades as they suffered their first loss in 4 games to end the elimination round.

After bucking a slow start in the first half, Mighty got going with a 9-0 run to start the 3rd period up 11, 50-39, capped by a Ravena long bomb at the 5:39 mark. 

The Charles Tiu-coached squad then carried this momentum over to the final frame, where they blew the game wide open for the taking as ES Rades faltered on both ends. 

From a 68-64 lead midway through the 4th, Blatche and Balkman took turns dissecting the hapless Tunisian defense as Mighty sealed the deal with a massive 16-2 run for the 84-66 conclusion. 

Jelan Kendrick also lent a hand in the offensive showcase of Gomez de Liaño and the NBA duo as he finished with 13 points built on a 3-of-4 shooting from downtown. 

Anton Grady, meanwhile, paced ES Rades with a game-high 17 markers plus 8 rebounds in the losing effort. 

In a solemn moment before the game, the starters of both teams huddled up near center court after a ceremonial tip-off for a moment of silence in the memory of the late legend Kobe Bryant. 

Mighty will wrap up its elimination round in Dubai with a shot at a clean sweep as it takes on Beirut Sports Club on Wednesday, January 29.

 The Scores 

Mighty Sports 84 – Blatche 18, Balkman 18, Kendrick 13, Gomez de Liano 12, Ravena 8, Malonzo 4, Williams 3, Go 3. 

ES Rades 66 – Grady 17, Qannouni 13, Dayfallah 9, Elahi 7, Tramesh 6, Alshanoufi 5, Okoroh 4, Buallaq 3, Rudsli 2. 

Quarters: 19-18, 41-34, 63-54, 84-66. 



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