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Gallant Mighty Sports fightback falls short vs Lebanese powerhouse

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After sweeping the group stage and easily breezing through the knockout phase, Mighty Sports dropped to Al Riyadi, 89-84, on Friday night (Manila Time) at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in the Semifinals of the Dubai International Basketball Championship.

The Philippine squad fell into a deep 23-point hole but managed to return within 5 points down the stretch before surrendering the close decision.

Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee sparked Mighty’s comeback trail, putting up a game-high 24 points.

It was the same squad who booted out the Philippine team into contention of the Dubai tilt in 2017.

The Lebanese powerhouse asserted its mastery of Mighty Sports after scoring a 100-95 win in their meeting two years ago.

Mighty, though, showed signs of life when Roosevelt Adams and Randolph Morris converted their charities to cut the deficit to 5, 87-82, with a minute and 31 seconds left.

Wael Arakji paced the Lebanese side as the tall, lefty point guard pounced on his mismatch against Mighty playmakers Jason Brickman and Juan Gomez de Liaño with 23 points.

Morris provided support to Brownlee, chipping in 21 points, while Jeremiah Gray was the other Mighty player who scored in double figures with 17.

Mighty will next face Homenetmen, which the it beat in the group stage, in the battle for third on Saturday night.