Mighty battles Syrian squad
The Philippine contingent mopped up the Group B preliminaries and sure wants no let-up against the dangerous Syrian side for a seat in the Final Four of this prestigious annual invitational tourney in the UAE mega-city.
Twitter/Paolo del Rosario

Mighty battles Syrian squad

(The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Mighty Sports-Philippines tries to carry the momentum of its unbeaten group play campaign when it clashes with Syria’s Al Wathba in the knockout quarterfinals of the 31st Dubai International basketball tournament today at the Al Shabab Ah Ahli Club.

The Philippine contingent mopped up the Group B preliminaries and sure wants no let-up against the dangerous Syrian side for a seat in the Final Four of this prestigious annual invitational tourney in the UAE mega-city.

The match kicks off at 1 a.m. (Manila time).

Mighty, which also barged into the semis last year, was a team on a mission this year after winning its four prelims games with an average margin of more than 10 points.

Spearheaded by the frontline combo of Renaldo Balkman and Andray Blatche, the Alex Wongchuking-franchise prevailed over the UAE national team (88-82), Syria’s Al Ittihad (77-72), Es Rades of Tunisia (84-66) and Beirut Sports Club (91-77) to top Pool B.

Mighty’s domination boosted its goal of surpassing a bronze medal finish in the 2019 edition and becoming the first non-Middle Eastern team to ever win the Dubai tilt.

But in this do-or-die playoffs, coach Charles Tiu will need more from his wards especially against Al Wathba, which poses a massive threat despite being the lowest-ranked squad from Group A.

The Syrian club finished in fourth in its group with a 3-2 card with one win coming at the expense of reigning champion and top seed Al Riyadi.

ANDRAY BLATCHE GROUP B RENALDO BALKMAN
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