Mighty Sports-PH clinches Dubai semis berth
MANILA, Philippines – Justin Brownlee shrugged off injury concerns and Juan Gomez de Liaño played stellar as Mighty Sports-Philippines drubbed Al Nift Oil Sports-Iraq, 108-94, to advance to the semifinals of the 30th Dubai Basketball Championship on Thursday night, February 7 (Friday morning, February 8, Manila time)
Brownlee, who had a left knee injury scare in his last outing, led Mighty anew with an all-around line of 26 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists in the knockout quarterfinal duel.
Teenage sensation Gomez de Liaño also erupted for 21 markers built on an 8-of-13 (61%) shooting clip, while Jeremiah Gray chipped in 20 points in the easy win.
The Charles Tiu-coached squad arranged a marquee match with six-time champion Al Riyadi-Lebanon in the knockout semis on Saturday midnight, February 9, Manila time.
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Lamar Odom managed to haul in 6 boards in 14 minutes off the bench.
Mighty was well in control for the first 3 quarters and led by as many as 23 points, 85-62, after a Gray triple at the 1:08 mark of the 3rd period.
However, the Iraqis would come storming back with well-timed runs in the 4th frame, including a 9-0 blitz that turned a 15-point gap to just 6, 92-98, with 3:32 left in regulation.
Fortunately for the Philippine side, Brownlee quickly responded with 4 straight points to put Mighty back up 10, 102-92, with 2:04 remaining. He then sealed the deal with a dagger jumper at the 54-second mark for the 106-94 advantage.
De Mario De Mario paced Oil Sports with 26 points and 5 rebounds in a full 40-minute grind. Tayloe Taylor and Karrar Hamzah each chipped in 20 markers in the eliminating loss.
Mighty Sports 108 – Brownlee 26, Gomez de Liano 21, Gray 20, Adams 19, Morris 16, Brickman 6, Santillan 0, Gutang 0, Odom 0.
Oil Sports 94 – De Mario 26, Taylor 20, Hamzah 20, Saleem 10, Aldoori 9, Ismael 6, Algburi 3, Alammari 0, Hamad 0.
Quarters: 29-18, 57-46, 85-66, 108-94.