Mighty Sports seeks to remain unbeaten in Dubai tilt

MANILA, Philippines – After two tough wins and a two-day break, Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu looks for a better performance from his boys when they play Tunisia's Es Rades in the Dubai International Basketball Championship at the Shabab Al Ahli Club on Tuesday, January 28.

Two weeks after the team was formed, Mighty Sports played two straight games barely a day after arriving in the ultra-modern city on Wednesday, January 22, and the flaws were evident as it struggled to beat host United Arab Emirates and Syria's Al Ittihad.

Mighty Sports will try to tighten its hold of the lead in Group A in the 11-team tournament.

"We welcomed the two-day off for it gave us ample time to correct the mistakes we did in our past two games," said Tiu. "After running some plays during the break, hopefully we can play much better against the Tunisian club."

Mighty Sports team owner Alex Wongchuking was already pleased with what he saw in their 77-72 win over the Syrian club, but he expects a different showing against the Tunisian side.

Although it was naturalized Andray Blatche who carried most of the scoring load, Wongchuking was delighted with the contributions made by young guns Isaac Go, Dave Ildefonso, and Jamie Malonzo.

Go, Ildefonso, and Malonzo combined for 16 points as they held their ground against battle-tested rivals to the delight of the predominantly Filipino crowd.

"They're indeed the future of Philippine basketball as they showed great resolve against taller defenders," said Wongchuking.

Filipino migrant workers, however, are looking for a breakthrough performance from former Ateneo Blue Eagles star Thirdy Ravena.

Easily the most popular in the team, the 6-foot-2 Ravena is still trying to find his offensive rhythm after being held to just 4 points in two games.

"He will have his time to shine, there's no doubt about that," added Wongchuking. – Rappler.com