After going undefeated in five outings thus far, Mighty Sports-Philippines will face off against their toughest competition yet in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship semifinal round.
The Philippine representatives took care of business in the quarterfinal game against Oil Sport Club of Iraq, 108-94, to qualify for the knockout semifinal round against the formidable Al Riyadi-Beirut of Lebanon.
Al-Riyadi, the winningest club in Lebanese basketball history, is arguably the best team in the competition, despite losing a game in the elimination round to fellow Lebanese team Beirut Club.
The 14-time Lebanese Basketball League champions were winners of four consecutive domestic titles between 2014 and 2017, before yielding one to Homenetmen Basketball Club last season. They are also the West Asian Basketball Champions and winners of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup in 2017, solidifying their status as one of the best teams in the region.
Mighty Sports, on the other hand, also has high morale going into the pivotal matchup with an average winning margin of 12.4 points so far in the competition, a stark contrast to their lackluster stint in 2017 where the team only managed to win one game in seven outings.
Among the five wins included litmus tests against Al Wahda of Syria and the reigning Lebanese champs Homenetmen, albeit in close contests.
Fan favorite import Justin Brownlee will be continue to be relied on by the Filipino side, but he will need plenty of help from tournament standouts Juan Gomez de Llano, Jeremiah Gray, Roosevelt Adams, Jason Brickman, and fellow import Randolph Morris if they are to advance past the Lebanese club.
Mighty Sports-Philippines will try to topple Al Riyadi Beirut to advance to the Dubai International Basketball Championship final when they clash tonight at 8PM (12 AM Philippine time), at the Shabab-Al Ahli Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
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