Strong Group Athletics scores its second straight in Dubai tourney

Strong Group Athletics scores its second straight in Dubai tourney

STRONG Group Athletics walloped Syria’s Al Wahda, 89-67, for its second straight win in the 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championship over the weekend at the Al Nasr Club.

The Philippine representative, on the heels of an 82-66 drubbing of host United Arab Emirates (UAE) national team, picked up from where it left off to stay unbeaten in the 12-team tourney.

At 2-0, Strong Group gained a piece of Group B leadership with Libya’s Al Ahly Tri Sports Club, which trumped Lebanese clubs Beirut, 81-75, and Homenetmen, 93-71.

Kevin Quiambao led the way for Strong Group with 24 points on a 6-of-6 clip from downtown on top of five rebounds, two assists and a block in only 24 minutes of action.

Francis Escandor also waxed hot with five treys for 18 points with Jordan Heading adding 12 as Strong Group leaned on the hot-shooting of its local unit this time around.

Andray Blatche, following a scoreless debut, bounced back with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists and three steals as Dwight Howard collared 10 rebounds and four blocks plus five points.

It was a well-scattered attack for Strong Group that also drew efforts from other imports McKenzie Moore (8) and Andre Roberson (5), who headlined their 16-point debut win against UAE.

Unlike the first match, the wards of head coach Charles Tiu found their groove early with a 34-18 gap that they stretched to as many as 27 points on their way to yet another blowout win.

Strong Group, owned by Frank and Jacob Lao, wants no let-up when it faces Homenetmen next on Monday morning for a 3-0 bid.

Al Wahda (0-1), led by Myron Jordan (19), Jomaru Hohadbrown (17) and Abdulwahab Alhamwi (10), has Beirut next in its schedule with hopes of barging into the win column. — John Bryan Ulanday

The scores:

Strong Group 89 — Quiambao 24, Escandor 18, Heading 12, Blatche 12, Moore 8, Howard 5, Roberson 5, Baltazar 3, Ynot 2, Cagulangan 0, Sanchez 0, Liwag 0.

Al Wahda 67 — Jordan 19, Hohadbrown 17, Alhamwi 10, Dejohn Banks 8, Arbasha 5, Jlelati 4, Otabachi 2, Kassabali 2, Aljabi 0, Ghaith 0, Al Osh 0, Canbolat 0.

Quarterscores: 23-14, 43-30, 64-48, 89-67.