The Mighty Sports Philippines emerged as kings of Group A in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Tournament after roaring back in the fourth quarter against a towering Al Wahda Syria side, 85-81, at the Shabab Al Ahli Club.
Figuring in a tightly contested duel after three quarters, the Philippine quintet went on a furious fourth quarter rally triggered by clutch baskets from Justin Brownlee and Roosevelt Adams.
Trailing for majority of the final canto, Browlee unleashed a cold-blooded three from the top of the key to give Mighty the lead 79-76, with 2:30 left in regulation.
Following a time-out, Al Wahda’s 7’3 behemoth Abdulwahab Al-Hamwi missed a rushed attempt in the low post. Jason Brickman capitalized and connected on a floater on the other end to push the Mighty’s lead to five with a minute and 41 seconds left—which inspired “uwian na” jeers from the Filipino-heavy crowd.
Adams delivered the finishing blow with a dagger three-pointer (his fourth of the game) at the 33.7 seconds mark to ice the contest. The Fil-Am sniper finished with 21 points to go along with seven rebounds off the bench.
Brownlee once again led all scores with 27 markers on an efficient 10-of-14 shooting clip, together with nine rebounds. But the Ginebra import had to be taken out of the game in the dying seconds after falling hard on his knee after blocking Jordan Adams’ shot attempt. Randolph Morris added 19 points, while Lamar Odom was held scoreless for the third time in four games.
The Syrian club received 22 points from former NBA player Adams, while Bilal Abdullah pitched in 16 markers.
With the win, the Charles Tiu-mentored squad remained unblemished in four games and avoided a possible three-way tie for first place with Al Wahda and Homenetmen.
The team will get a much deserved day off and return to action on Thursday, where they will face off against the loser of the Oil Sports versus Sale in a knockout Quarterfinals match.
MIGHTY SPORTS (85) – Brownlee 27, Adams 21, Morris 19, Brickman 7, Gray 6, Gomez de Liaño 5, Odom 0, Santillan 0, Banal 0
AL WAHDA (81) – Adams 22, Abdullah 16, Alhamwi 13, Arbasha 11, Brown 10, Ali 6, Alosh 3, Hamad 0
Quarters: 18-23, 41-41, 60-65, 85-81
(Image from Facebook/Dubai Basketball Championship)