Strong Group Athletics aims for a group sweep as it faces Beirut Sports Club in the 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championship at Al Nasr Club.
After a two-day break, Strong Group is determined to remain undefeated against another Lebanese team at 1:15 a.m., aiming for a 4-0 record in Group B with one game remaining.
In the previous match, Strong Group steadily widened the gap against Beirut Club, limiting them to only 16 points in the third quarter, securing a 75-56 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Beirut Club attempted a comeback, particularly following an ankle injury to JD Cagulangan, who had been delivering an outstanding performance, during a loose ball scramble early in the final quarter. Despite their efforts, the Lebanese team could only narrow the gap to within 13 points on certain occasions.
Kevin Quiambao spearheaded Strong Group’s victory, propelling them to a 4-0 record, with an impressive performance of 20 points, 17 of which came in the first half, along with four rebounds and one steal.
McKenzie Moore, primarily handling the ball in the second half, contributed 19 points, five rebounds, and eight assists.
JD Cagulangan, before sustaining an ankle injury, posted 12 points, 10 in the first half, along with two boards and six assists.
Over the weekend, Strong Group secured a hard-fought 104-95 victory against Lebanon’s Homenetmen, marking its closest win in the 12-team Dubai tournament. This comes after dominating performances against the United Arab Emirates national team with a score of 82-66 and defeating Al Wahda of Syria with a score of 89-67.
Kevin Quiambao, who has garnered significant attention for potentially playing for the UAE national team, is once again entrusted with leading the charge for the Philippine representative.
He holds the highest scoring average for the team in the initial three matches.
Despite facing competition from four quality imports, including NBA veteran Dwight Howard, the UAAP Season 86 and Finals MVP has showcased his prowess as the most potent weapon for Strong Group. He has maintained impressive averages of 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
Head coach Charles Tiu’s team is gearing up for a crucial clash, with Strong Group set to face Al-Ahli Tripoli early Thursday (Philippine Time). The outcome of this match will determine the top seed for Group B in the quest to enter the quarterfinals.