Mighty Sports survives gutsy Korea to take Jones Cup pole position
MANILA, Philippines – Mighty Sports-Go for Gold took all they can handle from the South Korean national team and eventually won, 83-76, in the 41st William Jones Cup at the Changhua Country Gym in Taiwan on Tuesday, July 16.
Renaldo Balkman led the charge for the 5-0 Mighty squad with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Fellow imports McKenzie Moore and Zach Graham added 17 and 16 markers, respectively, while Eugene Phelps chipped in 14 points, 3 boards and 2 blocks.
After Mighty led 51-38 at the half, Korea then launched a massive 28-9 3rd quarter run on the back of naturalized center Ricardo Ratliffe to take a 66-60 lead heading to the 4th.
As Korea was on the verge of controlling the contest after taking a 72-65 advantage, Mighty wrestled back the lead with a massive 18-3 run off the thundering dunks of Balkman and Hamady N’Diaye.
Daesung Lee got Korea as close as 5 with a late three, but it was too little, too late for their spirited charge as Mighty came away with the 7-point win.
Ratliffe led the Koreans with 24 points and a staggering 20 rebounds while Junyong Choi added 14 markers, 6 boards and 3 assists.
Mighty Sports will get a two-day rest after 5 consecutive game days before facing Indonesia on Friday, July 19.
Mighty Sports 89 - Balkman 19, Moore 17, Graham 16, Phelps 14, Gray 7, N'Diaye 6, Williams 5, Adams 3, Brickman 2.
South Korea 82 - Ratliffe 24, Choi 14, Lee J. 11, Lee D. 11, Heo 9, Lee S. 5, Kim S. 4, Kim J. 4, Song 0.
Quarters: 23-21, 51-38, 60-66, 89-82.