DUBAI—Egypt, taller and heftier, used the free throw area as its escape route, making 16 of 18 tries to frustrate Mighty Sports-Philippines, 84-82, in the 28th Dubai International Basketball Championship Saturday at the Al Ahli gym here.
Backed by Scratch It and Rain or Shine, Mighty Sports got off to a hot start this time, taking 22-19 lead after the first 10 minutes of play to the delight of another sizable Filipino crowd.
But Mighty Sports was held scoreless in the first five minutes of the second frame while the Egyptians scattered four triples in a deadly offensive burst to take the initiative and the half, 45-33.
The Egyptians even padded their lead to 18 points, 60-42 late in the third quarter of a rugged encounter.
But Mighty Sports refused to give the fight easily as Jeron Teng, Kiefer Ravena and ex-Ginebra import Justine Brownlee led the team’s smoldering attack.
Teng launched the team’s rally with a completed three-point play, Brownlee buried a couple of 3-point shots and Ravena calmly scored two free throws to close in at 84-82.
A ray of hope showed for Mighty Sports when Youseff Aboushousha split his charities with six seconds to go.
Instead of cheers, a cry of anguish was heard as Kiefer Ravena’s three rattled in and out at the buzzer.
Overall, the performance of Ravena and Teng, who finished with 10 and 9 points, respectively, somehow eased the team’s second defeat in as many games.
“They played great today, they defended courageously,” said coach Charles Tiu who confronted 7-foot-5 Hamad Abouelrish after elbowing Beau Belga at midcourt.
“Don’t lose hope, be proud because we are improving,” added Tiu, who got another 27 points from Brownlee.
Egypt 84 – Okasha 24, Abdelhalim 20, Abdallah 10, Aboushousha 8, Mostafa 7, Elgammal 5, Said 4, Oraby 4, Abouelrish 2, Tawfik 0, Eldahsnan 0.
Mighty Sports 82 – Brownlee 27, Ravena 10, Thabeet 9, Teng 9, McGuire 8, Belga 7, Intal 3, David 3, Douthit 2,Miller 2, Tiu 2, Arana 0.
Quarters: 19-22, 45-33, 60-48, 84-82.
(Al Ahli gym)
5 p.m. – Al Riyade vs Ball Above All
7 p.m. Egypt vs Sagese
9 p.m. – Homenetmen vs Mighty Sports-PH