Mighty Sports holds off UAE national team, clinches Dubai quarters
MANILA, Philippines – Mighty Sports-Philippines kept it rolling in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship, this time downing the United Arab Emirates national team, 86-78, on Saturday, February 2.
Building on momentum gained from their 87-58 thrashing of the American University of Dubai, the Charles Tiu-coached squad has now surpassed their 2018 win total in just their second outing of the tournament. They have also clinched a spot in the knockout quarterfinals starting on Thursday, February 7.
After a competitive 1st quarter, the game turned into a blowout in a blink of an eye after spitfire guard Roosevelt Adams and veteran big man Randolph Morris conspired for a 12-0 run, 41-24, to open the 2nd frame. UAE finally got their first field goal of the quarter at the 4:38 mark after an easy layup by Saleh Khalifa, 28-43.
Mighty only got more confident at the turn of the half and clinched a 20-point gap, 72-52, off an Adams steal and slam with 2:42 to go.
The UAE nationals slowly chipped away at their deficit in the payoff period, but it proved futile as the Philippine side controlled things down the stretch.
Team captain Justin Brownlee crushed home a punctuation tomahawk jam off a Jason Brickman feed for the 86-75 lead with under two minutes left in regulation.
Morris led all scorers with 20 points on a 6-of-7 shooting (85%) with 7 rebounds.
Brownlee chipped in an 18-point, 11-board double-double while Adams fired off 18 markers in 18 minutes on a 7-of-8 (87%) clip from the bench.
Lamar Odom contributed 5 rebounds and an assist in just 13 minutes on the floor.
Rashed Al Zaabi paced UAE with 19 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Omar Alshabibi added 18 markers and 9 boards.
Mighty Sports 86 – Morris 20, Brownlee 18, Adams 18, Gray 9, De Liano 9, Brickman 4, Gutang 4, Santillan 2, Banal 2, Odom 0, Wongchuking 0, Rike 0.
UAE 78 - Al Zaabi 19, Alshabibi 18, Abdullah 14, Khalifa 8, Issa 8, Khalfan 7, Ibrahim 2, Al Nuaimi 2, Ndiaye 0.
Quarters: 29-24, 49-36, 78-58, 86-78.
Upcoming games: (Philippine time)
MON, Feb. 4, 1 am: Mighty Sports vs Homenetmen Lebanon
WED, Feb. 6, 1 am: Mighty Sports vs Al Wahda Syria
THU, Feb. 7: Quarterfinals (knockout)
FRI, Feb. 8: Semifinals (knockout)
SAT, Feb. 9: Finals (knockout) and Battle for 3rd