(Shabab Al Ahli Club)
9 p.m. – Mighty Sports vs Al-Wahda (Syria)
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Mighty Sports-PH goes for a four-game sweep of Group B eliminations when it collides with Al-Wahda on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship at the Shabab Al Ahli Club here.
Despite an inspiring 98-89 win over Lebanese champion club Homenetmen on Sunday, Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu sees another exciting finish in their 9 p.m. clash (1 p.m. Wednesday, Manila time) with a 7-foot-4 center reinforcing the Syrian club.
“Better prepare guys, Al-Wahda also has three imports, one stands at 7-foot-4,” said the younger brother of retired Rain or Shine star Chris Tiu. “So we can’t afford to relax although we’re now assured of finishing either as No. 1 or No. 2.”
Tiu, however, is hoping to get significant numbers this time from former LA Lakers star Lamar Odom who was practically reduced to a mere spectator after going scoreless in the team’s last two games.
The 6-foot-10 Odom scored four points in his comeback game against American University in Dubai in the opener after a near-death experience four years ago.
But if he can’t do the things he normally does during his celebrated days with the Lakers, Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee and Chinese league veteran Randolph Morris will have to work doubly hard to help the team gain extra motivation in time for the knockout quarterfinal stage of the tournament on Thursday.
Co-owned by brothers Alex and Caesar Wongchuking and backed by Go For Gold, Oriental Group, Healthcube and SMDC, the sports apparel and accessories club team also hopes to get a little of everything from Fil-Ams Jason Brickman, Jeremiah Gray, and Roosevent Adams and even from crafty UP star Juan Gomez de Liano.
In their finest games so far, the 6-foot-4 Gray erupted for 24 points with the 6-foot Brickman finishing with 12 points and five assists and De Liano adding 11 points – not to mention providing some highlight plays.
“While we have already surpassed our one-win showing two years, our mission is far from over. So stay focused guys,” said the older Wongchuking in a text message to Tiu.