Strong Group-PH turns back Al-Ahli in Dubai

Posted by watchmen
January 26, 2024
Posted in SPORTS
Strong Group Athletics-Philippines' Andre Roberson attempts a shot against two Al-Ahli Tripoli defenders. (UAE Basketball Association photo) 
Strong Group Athletics-Philippines’ Andre Roberson attempts a shot against two Al-Ahli Tripoli defenders. (UAE Basketball Association photo)


Strong Group Athletics-Philippines survived a late run by Al-Ahli Tripoli for a 91-89 victory in the 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championship at the Al-Nasr Sports Club yesterday (Philippine time).

Down 74-79 early in the final quarter, Dwight Howard unloaded back-to-back inside conversions followed by two-pointers from Andre Roberson and Kevin Quiambao as Strong Group took an 83-81 advantage.

After a split free throw by Al-Ahli’s Naseim Badrush, Andray Blatche connected on a two-pointer while Howard drilled two free throws and an inside basket as Strong Group established an 89-82 lead.

Al-Ahli Tripoli made their last push as Mohamed Sadi scored on a tough layup, and Nick West followed it up with back-to-back inside baskets to cut the deficit to 89-88 with 30 seconds remaining.

Jordan Heading then converted two free throws for Strong Group to increase the lead to 91-88 with 20 seconds left.

Al-Ahli still had a chance to force overtime, but Badrush and Walter Hodge missed their three-point attempts.

Heading led the way with 19 points, including five three-point conversions, to go with five assists as Strong Group emerged on top of Group B with a perfect 5-0 win-loss slate.

Howard chipped in 17 points after being held scoreless in the first half. Quiambao also finished with 17 markers, while Roberson and Blatche contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Strong Group.

Strong Group started the game flat as they went down 15-27 before slowly clawing their way back in the second quarter behind the outside shooting of Heading, Quiambao, Blatche, and Roberson for a 51-50 halftime lead.

Howard and Justine Baltazar spearheaded the offense for Strong Group in the third frame as they built a 70-64 lead, but Al-Ahli relied on their inside attacks to surge ahead at 79-74 in the fourth period.

Badrush led Al-Ahli with 27 points, including four three-point connections, Sadi added 22 markers, while Hodge and West ended with 17 and 10 markers, respectively./ASC, WDJ


STRONG GROUP 91 — Heading 19, Quiambao 17, Howard 17, Roberson 13, Blatche 10, Moore 7, Baltazar 3, Liwag 3, Escandor 2, Ynot 0.

AL-AHLI 89 — Badrush 27, Sadi 22, Hodge 17, West 10, Wesley 6, Dawo 5, Ramadan 2, Abdrahim 0, Sedek 0.

Quarterscores: 20-27, 51-50, 74-73, 91-89.

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