MANILA, Philippines – Lamar Odom’s clutch basket allowed Mighty Sports to edge out Magnolia, 98-97, in a tune-up match at Ronac Gym on Tuesday, January 29.
According to head coach Charles Tiu, the former Los Angeles Lakers star is doing great.
“Lamar looks better every day and our locals also look okay,” added Tiu.
Though the team played much better than its 106-99 win over Blackwater last week, Tiu said his players need to work double time on two aspects – execution and defense – as they plunge into action in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship in 3 days.
“[The] team is slowly improving, but I would not consider us ready yet,” said the younger brother of retired Rain or Shine guard Chris Tiu. “We need to play real smart defensively and also need to improve our execution.”
Mighty Sports owner Alex Wongchuking was delighted with the outcome of the team’s two tune-up matches, especially with the performances of Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee and Chinese league veteran Randolph Morris.
“I’m hoping they can sustain their good form and help the team advance to the semis,” said Wongchuking, who co-owns Mighty Sports with younger brother and former Xavier School basketball team manager Caesar.
The team is out to improve its maiden showing in the annual tournament after winning only once in 7 games a couple of years ago.
Aside from Brownlee and Morris, University of the Philippines star Juan Gomez de Liaño and new recruit Jason Brickman also delivered to the delight of a motley crowd.
Gomez de Liaño held his ground against the pros on the way to scoring 15 points, while Brickman, a Filipino-American, showed the brilliance that has made him one of the stars in the ASEAN Basketball League.