Strong Group Athletics cruises to quarterfinals in Dubai

Strong Group Athletics cruises to quarterfinals in Dubai

UNSTOPPABLE Strong Group Athletics cruised to its fourth straight win in as many games, rolling past Beirut with a 95-73 blowout to clinch a quarterfinal ticket in the 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championship yesterday at the Al Nasr Club.

Kevin Quiambao, the team’s leading scorer, once again flashed his brilliance with 20 points on four triples laced by four rebounds and a steal as he continued to make heads turn in Dubai.

It’s the fourth straight double-digit performance for the UAAP Most Valuable Player from De La Salle University, who lured interest from United Arab Emirates basketball officials to reinforce its national team in the future.

McKenzie Moore backstopped Mr. Quiambao with 19 points, five rebounds and eight assists as Jordan Heading added 15 more for coach Charles Tiu’s charges.

Birthday boy JD Cagulangan threw in 12 points and six assists with Dwight Howard collaring a near 11-9 double-double after his 32-point eruption against another Lebanese team in Homenetmen.

Mr. Quiambao fired nine of his total output in the first quarter, highlighted by a putback to give Strong Group an early 32-20 advantage. The team owned by Jacob and Frank Lao was never threatened from there on for another commanding victory.

At 4-0, Strong Group — with a winning margin average of 17.3 points — warmed up for a gigantic duel against fellow unbeaten Al Ahly Tri Sports Club of Libya Thursday for the top seeding in Group B entering the knockout quarterfinals.

The Libyan ball club subdued a strong challenge from Syria’s Al Wahda, 93-84, to also go 4-0.

Meanwhile, reigning champion Al Riyadi — the tormentor of Strong Group in the quarterfinals last edition — also stayed unbeaten in Group A with a 4-0 slate after clobbering compatriot squad Sagesse, 96-76. — John Bryan Ulanday