By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
MIGHTY Sports Philippines finally got their match, as they maintained their poise and composure to remain undefeated against Korea, 89-82, in the 2019 William Jones Cup on July 16, 2019, at the Changhua Country Gym, Taiwan.
It was a usual first half for the Philippine squad as they got a bunch of scoring from Mckenzie Moore and Eugene Phelps.
Moore and Phelps drove to the paint relentlessly every time they got possession and helped Mighty Sports grab the lead at the half, 51-38.
The second half was a different story as the Koreans penetrated hard in the paint, enabling them to set up their three pointers and break down coach Charles Tiu’s zone.
Ricardo Ratliffe owned the shaded area in the third, grabbing every offensive rebound, outboxing 3 to 4 blue jerseys at every opportunity as he nabbed 3 offensive boards just in the third.
The Koreans went on a momentum gaining run erasing Mighty Sports’ lead and eventually retook the lead going into the final canto, 66-60.
The Koreans looked to pull away in the eighth minute mark in the fourth, as they had their largest lead of the game at 8.
Mighty Sports’ character was tested big time.
The all veteran squad led by Renaldo Balkman found a way to get through, as they managed to notch several stops resulting in an impressive 14-1 run in 3 minutes, regaining the lead from the Koreans.
The Mighty Sports never looked back after grabbing the lead and ultimately the win.
Balkman led the Philippine team with 19 points and 6 boards, while Ratliffe paced the Koreans with 24 points and 20 huge rebounds.
Mighty sports gained solo position at number 1 with 5 wins and no losses.
Mighty Sports- Balkman 19, Moore 17, Graham 16, Phelps 14, Gray 7, N’Diaye 6, Williams 5, Adams 3, Brickman 2.
South Korea- Ratliffe 24, Choi 14, Lee J. 11, Lee D. 11, Heo 9, Lee S. 5, Kim S. 4, Kim J. 4