MANILA, Philippines—Mighty Sports will have its wits immediately tested just day after its arrival in the United Arab Emirates for the Dubai International Basketball Championships.
The Philippine representatives to the 10-team tournament in the diverse metropolis will face American University in Dubai in the Group A matches on Friday 7 pm (11 pm in Manila), a team that Mighty knows little to nothing about.
“We barely have any scouting report on who we will be facing right on the opening day but I am optimistic that we are more than ready to do well for our kababayans here proud,” said Mighty Sports owner Alex Wongchuking ahead of their game at Shabab Al Ahli.FEATURED STORIES
Two boxers off the list
Would Thurman be ready for Sen. Pacquiao?
PBA: Rain or Shine bounces back, stuns San Miguel
Mighty Sports is eyeing a better showing this time after finishing with a sorry 1-7 record in its tournament debut in 2017, and a lot of pressure will be put on the shoulders of two-time NBA champion Lamar Odom and Barangay Ginebra mainstay Justin Brownlee.
Chinese Basketball Association Randolf Morris, who also played in the NBA with New York and Atlanta, is expected to patrol the team’s interior.
Head coach Charles Tiu said he expects his team to go through the gauntlet in the tournament and especially in Group A wher they will face UAE’s national team.
“I am expecting nothing less than a tough grind, every game here is important so we have to keep our collective focus on the task at hand,” said Tiu. “How we will perform in the first game will set the tone for our campaign.”
Mighty will play four games in the preliminaries and will have to get into the top four of Group A to advance to the crossover quarterfinals that will start on Feb. 7.
The semifinals will be played on Feb. 8 while the finals will be on the ninth.