Mighty Sports up vs tough field in Dubai
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - February 14, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Once again, Mighty Sports is vying in an international tournament against top-caliber teams and fielding a star-studded unit with little time to prepare.

 But head coach Charles Tiu is confident that they can deliver.

“It’s a bit of a challenge. We are faced by the lack of time together but the good thing is we have veteran players. These are smart players,” he said.

The other night, members of the team were presented to the media in a posh restaurant in Makati, led by the three imports and PBA players with championship experience.

“The mindset is the same. We will vie for the championship,” said Tiu, who steered a different Mighty Sports squad to the finals of the Merlion Cup last September.

Heading the team this time are Gnebra import Justin Brownlee, 2009 NBA Draft second overall pick Haseem Thabeet and seven-year NBA veteran Dominic McGuire.

On the local side are Willie Miller, a two-time MVP in the PBA, together with Chris Tu, Beau Belga, Gary David, Ryan Araña and JC Intal.

Kiefer Ravena will also see action along with Jett Manuel, Gab Banal and Jeron Teng. Also working the bench are Sandy Arespacochaga, TY Tang, Moria Gingerich, Mike Fermin and Gergel Razon. Bo Perasol is head of delegation.

Yes, it’s a star-studded lineup. But the youthful head coach wished he enjoyed the luxury of time preparing the team for the 28th Dubai International Championship scheduled Feb. 18 to 25.

“Chemistry is very important. This time was formed just less than a month ago and we’ve had only five practice sessions so far with three to go,” he said.

Tiu is hoping that the team, also backed by Rain or Shine and Scratch It, will be complete for the final sessions before they leave Thursday.

They will be up against three teams from Lebanon and others from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Fadi El Khatib, the 38-year-old veteran from Lebanon, will see action, and give the rest of the competitors enough reason to worry.

CHARLES TIU
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