Over a month after scoring an eight-game sweep of the William Jones Cup in Taiwan, Mighty Sports looks to dominate the 2016 Merlion Cup in Singapore, which is scheduled from September 21-25.
Charles Tiu, brother of Rain or Shine guard Chris, will be calling the shots for the Philippine representative in the six-team field.
But while Mighty Sports steamrolled past the opposition after winning the Jones Cup by an average margin of 17.4 points, Tiu said the Singapore basketball joust won’t be a walk in the park since the five other participating teams are also bannered by three imports.
“I think the teams there in Singapore are even stronger kasi sa Jones Cup puro national teams na some of them have younger players, but in the Merlion Cup, they (other teams) have three imports also,” Tiu told FOX Sports.
Reinforcing Mighty Sports once more are Senegal national player Hamady N’Diyae, former NLEX reinforcement Al Thornton and 2016 Jones Cup MVP Dewarick Spencer.
Former Smart-Gilas naturalized player Marcus Douthit will also play for Mighty Sports, along with Fil-American point guard Jason Brickman, former TNT wingman Aron Aban and ex-pros Jason Deutchman, TY Tang, along with amateurs Edrick Ferrer, Gelo Alolino, Ael and Gab Banal.
Tiu, who served as Bo Perasol’s deputy during Mighty Sports’ Jones Cup championship, cited Shanghai Sharks and the Seoul Samsung Thunders as club teams that have solid rosters.
“Solid team na yung Shanghai Sharks, plus they add three imports. Then, ganun din yung Samsung Thunders and I think they’ll be bringing in a naturalized player na si Greg Stevenson,” he added.
Mighty Sports will be bracketed in one group that also features the Samsung Thunders
and 2016 Asean Basketball League champion Westports Malaysia Dragons.
The Philippine representative will start practicing this Thursday at the NEGA gym in San Juan. – Richard Dy
Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava