Mighty Sports survives Syrian squad at Dubai

Andray Blatche was a man on a mission all night (Patrick Arias Castillo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Mighty Sports Philippines racked up their second straight win against the tough Al Ittihad Syria, 77-72, on the second day of the 31st Dubai International Basketball Championship.

Still finding their grip regarding their chemistry, the star-studded Mighty Sports lineup headlined by a bunch of collegiate stars is slowly adapting to the system coach Charles Tiu wants.

Trailing in the early parts of the game, the Mighty Sports began to shake off their usual sluggish start and torched Al Ittihad in the second quarter.

Andray Blatche led the way for the PH squad as he chipped in 28 huge points and 11 rebounds to help Mighty keep their lead whenever the Syrian team threatened.

Co-veteran Renaldo Balkman also played a huge game posting his usual double-double stat line with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Al Ittihad attempted to change the atmosphere of the game in the latter part of the second half that kept things close but the Blatche-Balkman tandem was too much for them to handle in the paint.

PH collegiate stars Dave Ildefonso and Jamie Malonzo then sank timely baskets that halted the Syrian team’s hopes of a comeback.