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Strong Group enters Dubai Finals

strong group enters dubai finals

Strong Group Athletics finally enters the Dubai International Basketball Championship Finals after beating the Beirut team on Sunday, January 28.

Dwight Howard, Kevin Quiambao, and the rest of Charles Tiu’s team extended their impressive performance with a decisive 94-72 victory over Beirut Sports Club.

Once again, Dwight Howard showcased his dominance, delivering an outstanding performance with 26 points, 20 rebounds, three steals, one block, and a rejection in the game, reaffirming his prowess.

“We didn’t come here to lose,” Howard said.

“We got one more day. It’s gonna come hard and pretty aggressive, and this is ours, I believe.” he added. 

Meanwhile, KQ drew attention once more by contributing 18 points, half of which were scored from successful three-point shots, in addition to securing three rebounds. 

Justine Baltazar delivered one of his more impressive performances in the tournament, recording 15 points and five rebounds as the MPBL MVP. Jordan Heading concluded with a total of 10 points.

The Strong Group is set to face defending champions Al Riyadi in the championship match, with both teams being undefeated in the tournament. In the previous year’s Dubai competition, Al Riyadi eliminated the Philippines in the quarterfinals.

The Nationals capitalized on a strong performance in the second quarter, with Quiambao, Baltazar, and Heading making successful three-pointers. Howard also made significant contributions in the paint, transforming a narrow 33-29 lead into a commanding 50-29 advantage as the first half approached its conclusion.

As a result, SGA established a lead that expanded to as much as 26, reaching a score of 75-49 early in the final quarter. This proved to be more than sufficient as they secured their seventh consecutive victory in as many games.

Dar Tucker, who had previously been a formidable opponent for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, took charge for Beirut, contributing 22 points, seven rebounds, one block, and one steal.

The Final Scores:

Strong Group — 94 – Howard 26, Quiambao 18, Baltazar 15, Heading 10, Moore 7, Roberson 6, Sanchez 5, Escandor 3, Cagulangan 2, Liwag 2, Ynot 0.

Beirut Sports Club — 72 – Tucker 22, Saleh 19, El Darwich 8, Haidar 6, Rabay 6, Jarrouj 5, Mahmoud 3, Mezher 3, Mechref 0.

QUARTERS: 22-17, 50-34, 73-49, 94-72.


Also Read: Strong Group seeks group sweep in Dubai International Basketball Championship

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