Strong Group PH still unbeaten after romp of Al Wahda


Posted at Jan 31 2023 01:18 PM

Strong Group Philippines cruised to an 87-61 rout of Al Wahda-Syria to keep a spotless record in the 32nd Dubai International Basketball Championship. 

With Shabazz Muhammad leading the way, Strong Group improved to 3-0 after Tuesday's game at the Al Nasr Club Hall in Dubai.

"We have been improving every game and this was our best defensive performance," said head coach Charles Tiu after the wire-to-wire triumph. "Shabazz carried us offensively, he was great so we kept riding him but the defense was solid today and I am happy."

Muhammad poured in 37 points on 11-of-27 shooting along with 11 rebounds, while Filipino-American guard Sedrick Barefield had 11 points and six assists.

Former PBA import Renaldo Balkman was one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Strong Group won comfortably even with Nick Young being rested for the game.

They opened up a 22-9 advantage in the first quarter and went on to lead by as much as 29 points twice, the first at 68-39 with under two minutes left in the third period when Muhammad converted a jumper.

A triple by University of the Philippines guard JD Cagulangan gave them another 29-point advantage, 79-50, midway through the final period. 

Adamson University's Jerom Lastimosa led locals in scoring with 10 points that he laced with four rebounds and three assists. 

Strong Group will face a stiff test from unbeaten Dynamo of Lebanon on Wednesday.