Mighty Sports stayed unbeaten in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament after running past Es Rades, 84-66, Tuesday (Manila time) at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in the United Arab Emirates.
Renaldo Balkman and Andray Blatche conspired on offense once more and scored 18 points apiece to help the team notch its third straight win and move closer to a sweep of Group B.
Blatche added 13 rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Balkman pulled down six rebounds and handed out two dimes.
Mighty looked poised for a runaway win after building a 65-54 lead with 7:55 left, but turnovers and sorry misses gave the Tunisian club enough momentum to close the gap to four, 68-64, after Ashraf Qannouni converted on a three-point play for Es Rades.
Fortunately, Balkman was able to stop the bleeding and kickstarted a strong 11-0 finishing kick by scoring on a jumper and a wide-open fastbreak dunk to restore Mighty Sports' lead to 11, 77-66.
Blatche later put the exclamation mark on the win by nailing a stepback triple from the left wing in with 39 ticks remaining in the game.
Jelan Kendrick added 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting, while Juan Gomez de Liano recorded his best game of the tournament so far after tallying 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from deep and two rebounds.
On the other hand, ES Rades saw Anton Grady (17 points, eight rebounds) and Qannouni (13 points, two rebounds, two assists) be the only players to hit double-figures in the team's first loss of the tournament.
Mighty Sports can keep its slate unblemished before the quarterfinals when it takes on Beirut Sports Club on Tuesday, 9 p.m (Wednesday, 1 a.m in Manila).
Mighty Sports (84) -- Balkman 18, Blatche 18, Kendrick 13, Gomez de Liano Ju. 12, Ravena 8, Moore 5, Malonzo 4, Williams 3, Go 3.
Es Rades (66) -- Grady 17, Qannouni 13, Dayfallah 9, Elahi 7, Tramesh 6, Alshanoufi 5, Okoroh 4, Buallaq 3, Rudsli 2.
Quarters: 19-18, 41-34, 63-54, 84-66.
- Mighty Sports overwhelmed Es Rades on the glass, 45-28, and shot a respectable 12-for-31 (38 percent) from deep.
- Turnovers were a problem for the Philippines, though, as it had more errors (19) than assists (18). Balkman (team-high 7 turnovers) and Blatche accounted for 11 of those.