STRONG Group will get a baptism of fireside in opposition to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationwide group within the opener of the 32nd Dubai Worldwide Basketball Championship on the Al-Nasr Membership Corridor at present.
Sport time is at 11 p.m. (Manila time) with the Philippine contingent underneath the watch of School of St. Benilde coach Charles Tiu trying to shrug off fatigue after touchdown within the bustling Center Jap metropolis simply yesterday.
“It’s a brief turnaround plus jet lag. Tight schedule for us however hopefully we will discover a approach,” mentioned Mr. Tiu as Robust Group banks on the formidable trio of Nick Younger, Shabazz Muhammad and Renaldo Balkman.
Robust Group, owned by former Ateneo guard and now Converge assistant supervisor within the PBA Jacob Lao, is in search of to copy the right championship run of Mighty Sports activities within the 2020 Dubai version earlier than the pandemic.
“We’re trying ahead to enjoying totally different worldwide groups and we’re excited to showcase our abilities for our followers in Dubai and we hope we will stay as much as their expectations and defend the crown that we got here right here for,” mentioned Mr. Lao.
Out to backstop the three imports of Robust Group, who’re all former NBA first spherical picks, is a bevy of native standouts led by NCAA MVP Will Gozum of St. Benilde and Jerom Lastimosa of Adamson.
Finishing the squad are Ateneo’s BJ Andrade and Inand Fornillos, College of the Philippines’ JD Cagulangan, Gilas Pilipinas’ Francis Lopez, ex-La Salle anchor Justine Baltazar, St. Benilde’s Miguel Oczon and Fil-American prospect Sedrick Barefield.
La Salle and Gilas ahead Kevin Quiambao full the squad rather than Ange Kouame, who’s nursing dengue.
Robust Group can even take a look at the mettle of Al-Wahda from Syria, Dynamo from Lebanon and Al Nasr from Libya within the preliminaries of the abroad tilt slated till Feb. 5.
The Philippine squad Mighty Sports activities, led then by Mr. Balkman and ex-Gilas cager Andray Blatche, capped a 7-0 document of the Dubai match in 2020 and have become the primary non-Center Jap champion group. — John Bryan Ulanday