Mighty Sports on a roll, routs Sacramento State in Jones Cup
Nelson Beltran (philstar.com) - July 26, 2016 - 8:49pm

Games Wednesday:

1 p.m. – India vs Egypt

3 p.m. – Korea vs Iran

5 p.m. – Mighty Sports vs Japan

7 p.m. – Sacramento State vs Taipei B

TAIPEI – Mighty Sports Apparels, improving by the day, claimed a third straight win in the 38th Jones Cup international basketball tournament with an 88-69 drubbing of the Sacramento State Hornets at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium here Tuesday night.

As in their previous games, the Mighty cagers started slow before gradually stepping up the pace en route to the 19-point triumph that had them keeping a share of the lead with titleholder Iran.

The Iranians, five-time champs in the last seven editions of the annual event held in honor of FIBA founding official Renato William Jones, clobbered Egypt, 74-65.

Meanwhile, South Korea sprang back from a 65-86 loss to Mighty Sports, overpowering India, 97-55, for its second win in four games.

The Mighty quintet, backed by Scratch It Pera-Pera Agad-Agad! and Symarom, takes on recent FIBA OQT participant Japan at the halfway point of the nine-nation, one-round-robin competition Wednesday. Iran, on the other hand, tangles with Korea then the home team before meeting Phl-Mighty in the virtual championship match on Friday.

Mighty coach Bo Perasol said fatigue and health is a concern since his players are no longer spring chickens.

“Coming over here, the goal is to win it all. But as the tourney progresses, things become more difficult especially as the event is a daily thing. Though our guys are very talented, they’re not young and they have to rest, too,” said Perasol.

The Mighty bench chieftain played the homegrown Filipinos a lot more in their third straight game, with Sunday Salvacion and Larry Rodriguez making the scoring column in the fourth quarter.

Fil-Am guard Jason Brickman contributed nine points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals even as the bulk of their output came from imports Dewarick Spencer, Vernon Macklin, Al Thornton, Mike Singletary, Zach Graham and Hamady N’Diaye.

Troy Gillenwater played only the first 4:59 minutes of the game, sitting out the rest of the way after feeling some pain on the side of his body after a hard fall.

“Nothing serious. I hope he recovers in time for the Japan game,” said Perasol.

For the home fans, a treat was the 13-point game of Taiwanese guard Jeff Wu for the Hornets. Wu made clutch baskets as the Hornets fought the Mighty side to a 23-all tie in the first quarter.

But there’s no stopping the seasoned Mighty imports as they pulled away in the second quarter.

“The guys tend to slack off at the start. We can’t afford to do that or be lazy in what we do if we’re to win the championship here,” said Perasol.

N’Diaye scored only six points but swatted away eight shots in a defensive effort that helped energize the team in their breakaway.

The scores:

Mighty Sports 88 – Spencer 14, Macklin 14, Singletary 12, Thornton 12, Brickman 9, Graham 8, Gillenwater 7, N’Diaye 6, Salvacion 3, Rodriguez 3, Teng 0, Tang 0.

Sacramento State 69 – Dressler 16, We 13, Stuteville 8, Ugbaja 8, Graves 6, Hornsby 4, Herrick 4, Mauriohooho-Le’afa 2, Patton 0, Strings 0, Jackson 0.

Quarterscores: 23-23, 54-35, 69-50, 88-69

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