Jett Manuel shone as Mighty Sports Philippines bagged the bronze with a 91-76 romp over Homenetmen Beirut Basketball Club of Lebanon in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday night.
The 26-year old wingman Manuel, who recently retired from the PBA, fired a team-high 19 points in a balanced attack that fueled the country’s best finish in the annual Dubai tournament.
Mighty wrapped up its campaign with six wins against a lone loss—a huge improvement from the lone victory in seven games for the Philippines two years ago.
The Filipino ball club swept the eliminations against American University in Dubai UAE national team, Homenetmen and Al Wahda Sports Club of Syria before drubbing Al Nift Oil Sports Club of Iraq in the quarterfinals.
Mighty lost though to Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut, 84-89, in the semifinals.
American center Randolph Morris notched 11 points and six rebounds while Fil-Am forward Roosevelt Adams added 10 markers in the battle for third.
PBA import Justin Brownlee chipped in 10 points, six assists and four rebounds while former NBA star Lamar Odom scored a tournament-high eight markers.
All but one of head coach Charles Tiu’s wards contributed on the offensive side.
After a closely-contested first half, Manuel and the locals rallied to give Mighty a commanding 77-55 lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Filipino squad never relinquished its sizeable advantage from then on, only allowing the Lebanese club to inch within 15 points en route to sealing the podium finish.
Mighty capitalized on the absence of Homenetmen’s spitfire guard Walter Hodge, who finished with a hefty 42-point output in the Filipino ball club’s 96-89 win over the Lebanese side last week.
Jerar Hadidan led Homenetmen with a game-best 23 points on top of eight rebounds while Elias Rustom had 20 markers.