ALL Mighty Sports Philippines aspired for is to become the first non-Middle Eastern team to win the crown in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.
But after its seven-game romp of the invitational tournament, even coach Charles Tiu would admit that his side's perfect run caught him off guard.
"We didn’t look so good in our first few practices, but we started getting better every day," he said during the team's victory party on Thursday.
"The team just started to jell and figure things out. Players would make sacrifices and they did that. I didn’t have any problems whatsoever attitude-wise."
Tiu believes that the tougher competition in this year's edition made the success all the more sweeter as the Mighty side, backed by Creative Pacific Group, Go for Gold, Oriental Group, Discovery Primea, and Gatorade, finally won it all after years of heartbreak.
"We were having second thoughts joining this because we felt every year it was just so hard to win, but I was able to ask boss Bong (Cuevas) from Creative Pacific to help us out. And when he agreed to help our Mighty team, everything just fell into place. So that was big," he said, giving a toast to the young players who kept the energy high for the team, and especially for leaders Andray Blatche and Renaldo Balkman who led the team inside and outside the court.
"It’s a very tough tournament, I think tougher than last year. But I thought the players did a great job. Blatche and Balkman, they showed us why they’re NBA players. I think they were a cut above the rest and because of that, the team came together."
That's why Tiu is just humbled to add this conquest to his trophy case and continue Mighty's glory run.
"It’s a big achievement for us. We're very honored to be able to win this tournament," he said.