Strong Group-PH five wary of crossover foes
The Strong Group-Philippine squad was drawn into Group A of the Dubai Invitational Championship, and not that he’s looking too far ahead, but coach Charles Tiu is wary of the teams the Filipinos will play when the crossover playoffs come.
Bracketed with the United Arab Emirates national squad, Al-Wahda from Syria, Dynamo from Lebanon and Al Nasr from Libya, Tiu told the Inquirer on Wednesday that the teams belonging in “Group B are much stronger, and that is my bigger worry.”
Renaldo Balkman, the NBA veteran and former PBA import, has embraced the role of team leader with the squad having just a week left of practice before the tournament opens on Jan. 27, and Tiu also said that he likes the progress that he is seeing as far as chemistry is concerned.
“We have a target behind our backs when we get there,” Tiu added as the Filipinos defend the title last won by Mighty Sports before the pandemic struck. “Our margin for error will be very small.”
UAE, according to Tiu’s scouting reports, “is getting better and better and becoming more competitive and Dynamo is the No. 1 squad in Lebanon. So it will be pretty tough.”