MIGHTY NAKAALPAS SA UAE SA DUBAI OPENER

MIGHTY SPORTS

NALUSUTAN ng Mighty Sports ang vintage performance ni Fadi El-Khatib at naitakas ang 88-82 panalo laban sa host United Arab Emirates sa pagsisimula ng  Dubai International Basketball Championship noong Huwebes sa Shabab Al Ahli Club.

Matulis at mabilis pa rin sa edad na 40, nagpasabog ang Lebanese legend na naglalaro bilang import para sa maliit subalit ma­yaman sa langis na Middle East ng 30 points, ngunit si Fil-Am Mikey Williams ang nangibabaw sa pagtatapos ng Group B action ng 11-team tournament.

Binigyan ni 6-foot-1 Williams ang Alex Wongchuking-owned Mighty Sports ng 82-78 kalama­ngan sa pamamagitan ng isang tres kasunod ng turnover ng UAE– salamat sa perfect pass ni natura­lized Filipino Andray Blatche, may 74 segundo ang nalalabi.

Pinalobo ng Mighty Sports ang kanilang bentahe sa 84-78 makaraang mabigyan ni Williams ng magandang pasa si Renaldo Balkman.

Lumapit ang Emiratis, sa pangunguna nina Rashed Ayman at El-Khatib, sa 84-82, subalit muling inapula ni Williams ang mainit na paghahabol ng UAE sa pagsalpak ng dalawang pressure-packed charities bago sinelyuhan ni Thirdy Ravena ang panalo sa pamamagitan ng isang layup mula sa defensive stop.

“It was a huge scare for us but we have to credit Mikey for showing great resolve. Big plays at crunch time,” wika ni Wongchuking.

Bahagyang dismayado si Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu sa opening game ng koponan su­balit nagpapasalamat pa rin at nalusutan nila ang kanilang unang laro.

“I have to be a bit more patient because this is technically our first game together. But give credit to UAE, they played well, got to the free throw line a lot and El-Khatib is still a great player at his age,” ani Tiu.

“Mikey was also great. As I said I have complete trust in him,” sabi ni Tiu patungkol sa kanyang guard na tumapos na may 15 points.

Nanguna si import Jelan Kendrick para sa Mighty na may 19 points, habang nag-ambag sina Blatche at Balkman ng tig-15 points bukod sa pagkalawit ng 11 at 9 boards, ayon sa pagkakasunod.

Iskor:

Mighty Sports (88) – Kendrick 19, Blatche 15, Balkman 15, Williams 15, Malonzo 8, Moore 8, Ravena 2, Go 2, Belga 2, Gomez de Liano Ju. 2, Ildefonso 0.

UAE (82) – El-Khatib 30, Alshabebi 27, Ayman 6, Alnuaimi 6, Almaazmi 5, N’Diaye 3, Sultan 0, Alajmanni 0.

QS: 22-16, 41-37, 63-65, 88-82

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