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Tiebreaker Times


Mighty Sports romps Beirut SC, sweeps Dubai Group B

Mighty Sports coasted to a 91-77 win over Beirut Sports Club to top its group elims in the 31st Dubai International Basketball Championship, Wednesday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in the United Arab Emirates. 

Fil-Am Mikey Williams anchored a third quarter onslaught, scoring 11 of his team-high 22 points on a remarkable 6-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Playing his finest game so far, the 6-foot-1 Williams also produced four assists and the same number of rebounds in a performance that underscored the team’s desire to improve on its bronze medal finish last year.

Mighty Sports-Creative Pacific finished the Group B elims with a perfect 4-0 record.

The four-game sweep likewise gave the team an extra motivation going to the knockout quarterfinals on Thursday.

The team, which takes a break Wednesday, battles the No. 4 squad of Group A.

Coach Charles Tiu hardly felt surprised with William’s solid all-around performance, saying: “Mikee once again proved he’s a streak shooter. He caught fire when we need it badly. Another good win for us.”

While Williams was knocking in treys with wild abandon, barrel-chested import Renaldo Balkman imposed his will inside. The team co-owned by Alexander Wongchuking of Mighty Sports and Bong Cuevas of Creative Pacific erased a 37-36 halftime deficit on the way to a 69-54 advantage going into the payoff period.

“The team is definitely playing much better. Slowly hitting our stride. Hopefully, it can continue,” added Tiu.

Balkman tallied 20 points, four rebounds and two assists that more than made up for his two turnovers. On the other hand, Andray Blatche had a quiet 12-point, 13-rebound show.

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The Lebanese still tried to stage a comeback, but McKenzie Moore exploded just in time. He scored seven straight points to help Mighty Sports-Creative Pacific seal the deal, 85-70, with a little over two minutes left in the game.

Moore, who also played a key role in Mighty Sports’ title sweep of the Jones Cup last year, chipped in 14 points off the bench.

Up next though is the knockout quarterfinals. And Mighty Sports just got word of an unfavorable match-up.

“Nice to be the top seed, but it doesn’t mean anything now. In fact, it probably means [we] will play Egypt which got upset and fell to number four. I am very worried and afraid of that match-up,” shared Tiu.

Mighty Sports is backed by Go for Gold, Discovery Primea, and Gatorade.

The Scores:

Mighty Sports 91 — Williams 22, Balkman 20, Moore 14, Blatche 12, Malonzo 10, Kendrick 6, Ravena 5, Go 2, Gomez de Liano 0, Belga 0, Ildefonso 0, Yeo 0.

Beirut SC 77 — Johnson 30, Rustom 19, Hawkins 11, Mezher 5, Chamoun 5, Ezzeddine 3, Aboud 2, Ziade 2, Akl 0, Abdel Masih 0.

Quarterscores: 21-24, 36-37, 69-54, 91-77.

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