Mighty Sports faces Magnolia in tuneup ahead of Dubai tilt
Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu feels his team is still far from where it wants to be less than a week before plunging into action in the Dubai International Basketball Tournament.
Mighty Sports is coming off a win over the Blackwater Elite in an exhibition game but Tiu wants to see more from his wards when it faces the Magnolia Hotshots in another tuneup set on Tuesday.
“Though a win is a win, we still have a lot of work to do,” Tiu said after beating the Elite.
“In a scale of 10, we’re still at level 5,” said Tiu, the younger brother of former Rain or Shine star Chris. “We need to reach 7 or 8 before we leave for Dubai. The tournament there is very tough.”
The Dubai tilt tips off on February 1 with Mighty Sports in for a grind against some of the toughest clubs from Jordan, Lebanon and UAE.
Alex Wongchuking, who co-owns the team with younger brother Caesar, is looking forward to a much better finish this time after the team blew several opportunities in its first foray in the annual tournament two years ago.
“I’ll be happier if we can reach the semis this time,” said Wongchuking. “That’s our goal and I’m confident coach Charles, coach Jong (Uichico), coach Woody (Co) and coach Dean (Castano) can bring out the best from Lamar (Odom) and the rest of the team.”
Justine Brownlee, the Barangay Ginebra resident import, is expected to lead Mighty Sports. Apart from Brownlee, former NBA star Lamar Odom and Chinese Basketball Association veteran Randolph Morris will also beef up the squad.
Odom, who won two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010, has already joined the team after arriving in Manila on Wednesday.
The team is also looking to get a lift from Fil-American prospects Jeremiah Gray and Roosevelt Adams and ex-pros Ty Tang, Joseph Yeo, Jett Manuel and Gab Banal as well as college stars Juan Gomez Di Liaño of University of the Philippines and College of St. Benilde’s Justin Gutang