Lamar Odom comeback an inspiration, says Tiu
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Former Los Angeles Lakers star Lamar Odom delivered his best numbers in his final game with Mighty Sports as the Philippine club salvaged a third-place finish in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championships at the Shabab Al Ahli Club gymnasium here.
Cheered on by a sizeable Filipino crowd every time he touched the ball, Odom racked up 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in Mighty’s 91-76 victory over reigning Lebanon league titlist Homenetmen on Saturday night, February 9. (READ: Jett Manuel, Lamar Odom shine as Mighty-PH cops Dubai bronze)
The 6-foot-10 Odom even nailed a booming triple for a comfortable 83-64 advantage with less than 3 minutes to play.
“The fact that he can still play basketball, run up and down at his age, that’s already a big achievement for himself and I’m really happy for him,” said Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu.
Odom, who won back-to-back NBA championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, made headlines in 2015 for drug overdose that landed him in a coma and on life support.
The 2011 Sixth Man of the Year, though, managed to turn his life around and looks to get back into competitive form starting with his stint with Mighty Sports.
“Just the fact that he’s been an inspiration to all of us and be part of his comeback, we wish him the best wherever he may end up,” said Tiu. “He’s been a good player with great attitude for us.”
Tiu also credited the rest of the team bannered by resident Ginebra import Justin Browlee and University of the Philippines guard Juan Gomez de Liaño for closing out their campaign in the prestigious 10-team invitational tournament on a strong note – a marked improvement from a woeful one-win showing in Mighty's tourney debut in 2017.
“Overall, I think the stint was a successful campaign,” Tiu said of his squad, which completed a four-game sweep of the group stage, dominated Oil Sports Club-Iraq in the quarterfinals, and made a spirited fightback that just fell short against Al Riyadi in the Final Four.
In the battle for 3rd place against Homenetmen Lebanon, former Ginebra stalwart Jett Manuel saved his best for last with a team-high 19 points.
Big man Randolph Morris also finished with 11 points while Brownlee and Roosevelt Adams added 10 points each. – Rappler.com