Photo from Mighty Sports


Charles Tiu faces good problem of having a loaded Mighty Sports squad

by Niel Victor Masoy, January 17, 2020 6:13pm

There’s no shortage of talent in the Mighty Sports squad that Charles Tiu is set to head coach in the 31st Dubai International Basketball Tournament.

Former and current University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) stars Thirdy Ravena, Jamie Malonzo, Jarrel Lim, Dave Ildefonso, Joaqui Manuel, and brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano make up the team.

Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) Gab Banal and Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) veteran Beau Belga are also part of the squad.

Former San Miguel Beermen and Alab Pilipinas import Renaldo Balkman, together with fellow reinforcement McKenzie Moore, ex-PBA player Joseph Yeo, ex-MPBL star Mikey Williams, and the 7-foot-2 wunderkind Kai Sotto, is part of the team as well.

Tiu admitted it’s a tough task for him when it comes to balancing the minutes of each player, all the while having to win the competition which Mighty finished as the third-placed team last year.

“All the college stars are out here. Our imports are very solid. We got guys who we won with, Balkman, McKenzie. Andray Blatche can play as a local. This tournament kasi we are only allowed to use two imports at a time and Andray is a local so that’s a big factor. The first time we’re gonna see him since he moved to the States so we’ll see how much he’s improved,” said Tiu. 

“It’s gonna be hard for me. I want to give guys the opportunity to play but at the same time, I have to win this tournament.  It’s probably up to who’s gonna plays best. They have to earn their minutes. I won’t give them anything.

“Even with Kai, as much as I wanna give Kai all the minutes, he’s playing alongside Andray and Balkman, who will be getting most of the minutes.”

Of course, Tiu is welcoming this loaded Mighty Sports squad with open arms. After all, it’s a good problem to have.  

“It’s better to have more guys who can help than no players at all. I’ll take it right now. It’s a situation where I’ll probably get a lot of hate speech from fans on why aren’t you using this and that, but it’s part of the job. They just have to earn their minutes.”

The Dubai International Basketball Championship is set to unfold from January 23 up to February 1, 2020, at the Shabab Al Ahli Club. 

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