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Strong Group ousts Sale in DIBC QFs, sets rematch with Beirut Club

Dwight Howard showed his vintage game for Strong Group in the quarterfinals. UAE Basketball Association
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Strong Group Athletics moves on to the semifinals of the Dubai International Basketball Championship after eliminating Sale, 92-80, in their quarterfinal game early Saturday (Philippine Time) at the Al-Nasr Sports Club.

Strong Group turned things around in the second quarter, outscoring Sale, 25-15, to turn a 19-21 deficit after the first quarter into a 44-36 halftime lead.

Sale tried to stay close, even cutting the lead down to one midway through the third quarter, but Strong Group quickly reasserted control of the game and eventually pulled away for good with a 9-0 run in the middle of the fourth to open the team's largest lead at 16, 87-71, with 2:23 left.

Andre Roberson led Strong Group, now 6-0 overall in the tournament, with 18 points, nine rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block.

Dwight Howard and McKenzie Moore each added 17 points with Howard also grabbing 12 rebounds.

Kevin Quiambao was the top local for Strong Group with 15 points, two rebounds, five assists, and one steal.

Balti Baltazar played arguably his best game of the tournament as he tallied eight points on a perfect 3-of-3 field goal shooting and five rebounds.

Ramon Galloway played the entire game and finished with 27 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block, while Tyler Williams added 20 points, six rebounds, two assists, and three steals for Sale, which entered the quarterfinals thanks to Al-Nasr's loss to Al-Riyadi on Thursday night.

Strong Group set a rematch against Beirut Club in the semifinals early Sunday (Philippine Time).

Beirut Club, which entered the playoffs as the third seed of Group B, stunned the second seed of Group A, Tunisia, with an 88-82 win in the first quarterfinal.

Dar Tucker led Beirut Club with 30 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, while Sergio El-Darwich added 18 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Oussama Mamaoui and Jawhar Jawadi each scored 16 markers for Tunisia.

Box Scores:

Strong Group 92-Roberson 18, Howard 17, Moore 17, Quiambao 15, Baltazar 8, Heading 6, Blatche 4, Ynot 3, Cagulangan 2, Liwag 2, Escandor 0, Sanchez 0

Sale 80-Galloway 27, Williams 20, Aqboub 10, Al-Quraishi 6, Benchlika 5, Buqisho 4, Kourdou 4, Al-Mohseni 2, Benabou 2

Quarterscores: 19-21, 44-36, 67-59, 92-80

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