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Jones Cup: Mighty Sports beats Canada, Koreans next

Mighty Sports-Go For Gold Philippines coach Charles Tiu talks to Puerto Rican import Renaldo Balkman during their game against Japan in the William Jones Cup in Taiwan. (Photo from Charles Tiu’s Instagram)
Renaldo Balkman (right) with Mighty Sport coach Charles Tiu

by Waylon Galvez

Game Today (Changhua County Gym in Changhua, Taiwan)
5 p.m. – Korea vs Mighty Sports-PH

Fil-Am gunner Jeremiah Grey fired 25 points as Mighty Sports-Go For Gold Philippines claimed its fourth straight win by trouncing University of British Columbia-Canada, 116-87, in the William Jones Cup Monday in Changhua, Taiwan.

The 6-foot-4 Gray from Dominican University of California – a NCAA Division II school in the US – shot 6-of-8 from three-point territory as he led a balanced attack by the Philippines representative to the annual tournament.

Former NBA player Renaldo Balkman, who turned 35 last Sunday, collected 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists, while Eugene Phelps had double-double 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Nigerian center Hamady N’Diaye added 15 points for the HealthCube-backed Mighty Sports.

The win improved the team’s record to 4-0, tying South Korea for the overall lead, and in the process, set the stage for what could be the title showdown when they clash today.

The tournament format gives the Jones Cup championship to the team with the best record after the single round robin. In 2016, Mighty Sports won the title with an 8-game sweep of the tournament.

The national team of Korea, which is using the tournament to prepare for the FIBA World Cup, also improved its record to 4-0 by beating Indonesia, 117-55, so far the largest winning margin in the 9-team tournament.The game between the Philippines and Korea is set at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The team of coach Charles Tiu took advantage of its quickness and advantage inside the painted area as Balkman, Phelps and N’Diaye – all former PBA imports – powered the team’s hot start as the Philippines posted 39 points in the second period as compared to nine by the collegiate team.

That big second quarter run quickly turned a close game to another blowout victory.

The scores:
MIGHTY SPORTS PH 116 – Gray 25, Balkman 22, Phelps 20, N’Diaye 15, Williams 9, Yeo 7, Banal 7, Adams 4, Graham 3, Black 2, Wongchuking 2, Brickman 0.

UBC-CANADA 87 – Browne 25, Simon 25, Shephard 14, Cruz-Dumont 8, Rosebush 5, Audu 5, Bourcier 3, Wallack 2, Familia 0, Clair 0, Morrison 0.

Quarters: 26-27; 65-36; 98-58; 116-87.

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Written by Tempo Online

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