Mighty guns for No. 3 against Tunisian club
After two tough wins and a two-day break, Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu is asking his players to grind it out some more as they clash Tunisia’s Es Rades in the Dubai International Basketball Championship Monday at Shabab Al Ahli Club in the United Arab Emirates.
Two weeks after the team was formed, Mighty Sports played two straight games barely a day after arriving in the ultramodern city on Wednesday, and the flaws were evident as it struggled to beat host UAE and Syria’s Al Ittihad.
Game time is at 9 p.m. (1 a.m. Tuesday, Manila time) with Mighty Sports out to firm up its hold of the Group A lead 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,” Tiu said. “After running some plays during the break, hopefully we can play much better against the Tunisian club.”
The team showed marked improvement in a 77-72 win over the Syrian club, that’s why Tiu expects to see a different Mighty Sports squad against the Tunisian club.
Though it was naturalized center Andray Blatche who carried most of the scoring load, steady contributions from Isaac Go, Dave Ildefonso and Jamie Malonzo also proved crucial.
The three combined for 16 points as they held their ground against beefier 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 team owner Alex Wongchuking, who made the trip to give his players a boost.
Filipino migrant workers, however, are looking for a breakthrough performance from former Ateneo King Eagle 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 four points in two games.
“He will have his time to shine, there’s no doubt about that,” Tiu said.
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