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Shabazz drops 37 as Strong Group goes 3-0 in Dubai tiff


MANILA, Philippines, January 31 ------ Shabazz Muhammad erupted for 37 big points as Strong Group Philippines improved to 3-0 in the 32nd Dubai International Basketball Championship blowing out Al Wahda Syria, 87-61, at the Al Nasr Club on Monday (early Tuesday morning, Manila time).


Playing without Nick Young, who was in the sidelines in street clothes, the former PBA import took most of the scoring burden as he finished with 37 markers in 24 minutes of play to go along with 11 boards, one assist, and two steals.


Another strong start saw the Philippine team ahead by 15 early, 24-9, after a Kevin Quiambao hook shot. While Miles Bowman Jr. shifted some momentum to the Syrian side with a buzzer-beating triple at the end of the opening canto to prevent the Strong Group from running away with it early, 24-13. But the efforts proved futile for Al Wahda as Muhammad asserted his dominance inside the paint to lead the Strong Group's onslaught.


The former PBA import needed little support from the rest of the team as only Sedrick Barefield and Jerom Lastimosa breached double-digit scoring with 10 markers each. Still, it was an all-around effort for the Strong Group as only one player fielded was unable to score a point. Strong Group ballooned their advantage to as big as 29 points late in the third salvo off of a jumper from Muhammad. Kendall Gray led Al Wahda in the losing effort with 11 points and six rebounds.


Strong Group plays their final game before the knockout stages against fellow undefeated team Dynamo of Lebanon on Wednesday, February 1.


Source: philstar.com

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