Strong Group Athletics (SGA) commenced their journey in the 33rd Dubai International Basketball Championship with a resounding victory, defeating the UAE national team with a score of 82-66 early Saturday morning, Manila time. The win was characterized by a significant performance in the middle quarters, allowing SGA to dominate the game and secure their opening triumph.
The match initially saw both teams grappling for dominance, concluding the first quarter in a 22-all deadlock. However, SGA's strategy unfolded as they gained a six-point lead by halftime. The real game-changer was the third quarter, where SGA, powered by Andre Roberson and Kevin Quiambao, unleashed a formidable 14-2 run. This surge included a remarkable sequence of 10 straight points, featuring back-to-back 3-pointers by Quiambao and a series of layups by Roberson, shifting the game momentum significantly in SGA's favor.
As the game progressed, SGA maintained their lead, which ballooned to 21 points after Allen Liwag's turnaround jumper. Despite a late push by the UAE team, which narrowed the gap to 11 points, Jordan Heading sealed the deal for SGA with a decisive layup in the final minutes.
Andre Roberson was a standout performer for SGA, contributing 15 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks. Dwight Howard and Kevin Quiambao also played pivotal roles, with Howard adding 14 points and six rebounds and Quiambao delivering a solid 13-point performance, primarily from the two-guard position.
On the UAE side, Hamid Abdullateef led the scoring with 19 points. Despite their efforts, the UAE team fell short against the strategic play and robust defense of SGA.
Looking ahead, Strong Group Athletics is set to face Syria’s Al Wahda Sports Club on Saturday, January 20, at 5:15 p.m., aiming