Asian basketball

Kevin Quiambao stars anew as Strong Group stays perfect in Dubai

Martin Mendoza

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Kevin Quiambao stars anew as Strong Group stays perfect in Dubai

STANDOUT. Strong Group's Kevin Quiambao (right) evades his Beirut defender in the Dubai International Basketball Championship.

UAE BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

For the second time in four matches, La Salle Green Archers star Kevin Quiambao shows the way for Strong Group Athletics as they improve to 4-0 in the Dubai International Basketball Championship

MANILA, Philippines – The reigning UAAP men’s basketball MVP delivers again.

For the second time in four matches, La Salle Green Archers star Kevin Quiambao showed the way for Strong Group Athletics (SGA) as they remained undefeated in the Dubai International Basketball Championship with a 95-73 drubbing of Beirut Sports Club on Tuesday, January 23 (Wednesday, January 24, Manila time).

Five players breached double-digit scoring for the powerhouse Philippine squad that features former NBA superstar Dwight Howard and naturalized Filipino center Andray Blatche, but it was the 22-year-old Quiambao who once again stole the show with a team-best 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting.

Just last Saturday, January 20, Quiambao erupted for a tournament-high 24 points in Strong Group’s 89-67 beating of Al Wahda, before following it up with a 19-point performance against Homenetmen, 104-95, two days ago.

Against Beirut Sports Club, Quiambao wasted little time in making his presence felt as he dropped 9 of his 20 points in just the first quarter to lead Strong Group to a 32-20 start. 

With Quiambao still on fire in the second frame, Strong Group extended its lead to 18 points at halftime, 58-40, before leading by as many as 22 points late in the third period, 75-53. 

Beirut Sports Club managed to pull back within 13 points early in the fourth quarter, 77-64, but the lead that Strong Group built early on was simply too much for the Lebanese side to overcome in the endgame.

Former TNT Tropang Giga import Mckenzie Moore backstopped Quiambao with 19 points, while Gilas Pilipinas sharpshooter Jordan Heading added 15.

UP Fighting Maroons point guard JD Cagulangan produced 12 points off the bench, while Howard, who exploded for 32 points in Strong Group’s previous outing, finished with a near double-double of 11 markers and 9 rebounds. 

Lebanese national team player Sergio El Darwich sizzled for a game-high 28 points in the loss, while Ali Haidar and Jordan’s naturalized player Dar Tucker contributed 15 and 14, respectively, for Beirut Sports Club.   

Strong Group looks to end the elimination round with a 5-0 record when it collides with Al Ahly Tri Sports Club on Thursday, January 25 at 1:15 am, Manila time. 

The Scores

Strong Group Athletics 95 – Quiambao 20, Moore 19, Heading 15, Cagulangan 12, Howard 11, Escandor 6, Liwag 3, Blatche 3, Baltazar 2, Sanchez 2, Roberson 2. 

Beirut Sports Club 73 – El Darwich 28, Haidar 15, Tucker 14, Saleh 8, Rabay 3, Ghudwin 3, Mahmoud 2, Martinez 0, Mechref 0, Jarrouj 0.

Quarters: 32-20, 58-40, 75-56, 95-73. 

– Rappler.com 

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