Asian basketball

Muhammad, Lastimosa lead Nick Young-less Strong Group’s rout of Syria in Dubai

JR Isaga
Muhammad, Lastimosa lead Nick Young-less Strong Group’s rout of Syria in Dubai

TOO GOOD. Strong Group PH star Shabazz Muhammad attempts a floater against Al Wahda Syria's Kendall Gray at the 32nd Dubai International Basketball Championship

Patrick Arias Castillo/Strong Group PH

Shabazz Muhammad, Jerom Lastimosa, and Sedrick Barefield tow Strong Group Philippines past Al Wahda Syria in a 26-point blowout for their third straight win in Dubai

MANILA, Philippines – Shabazz Muhammad once again proved he is a cut above the rest in the 32nd Dubai International Basketball Championship as Strong Group Philippines blew out Al Wahda Syria, 87-61, for their third straight win on Monday, January 30 (Tuesday, January 31, Manila time).

Muhammad led all scorers with a 37-point, 11-rebound eruption in just 24 minutes of action as his fellow ex-NBA brother Nick Young was reduced to a spectator in street clothes after a quiet 3-point outing last game against Al Nasr Libya.

Adamson star guard Jerom Lastimosa and Fil-Am standout Sedrick Barefield filled in for Young’s missed production with 10 points apiece, while former NBA forward Renaldo Balkman scattered 9 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.

Much like its blowout win against Libya, Strong Group got off to a blazing start in the first quarter with a 24-9 opener and never looked back.

Coming off a 44-29 halftime lead, the Philippine team extended its pileup further with a 19-9 third quarter start, capped with a 29-point separation, 68-39, off back-to-back Muhammad jumpers with 2 minutes left in the frame.

Strong Group maintained this distance after a Joel Cagulangan triple with 5:11 left to play in the fourth, 79-50, which pretty much sealed the deal for the loaded squad.

Syria import Kendall Gray was Al Wahda’s lone double-digit scorer in the forgettable loss with 11 points, while five others scored at least 6.

Strong Group, all but assured a playoff berth in the annual pocket tournament, will wrap up its elimination round stand with a must-see matchup against powerhouse Dynamo Lebanon on Wednesday, February 1, 11 pm (Manila time). –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.