RENALDO Balkman led the way as Mighty Sports Philippines reached the final of the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament by fending off Assocation Sportivo de Sale, 80-76, on Saturday (Manila time) at Shabab Al Ahli Club.
The Puerto Rican dynamo uncorked 29 points and five rebounds as the Philippine club stayed unscathed through six games.
But it wasn't an easy victory, especially after Abderrahim Najah rallying Sale back in the game from an 11-point deficit, 66-55 entering the payoff period.
Najah scored on a three-point play with 1:36 left to cut the lead down to four for the Moroccan team, but he and Wayne Arnold missed their triples in the final minute as the Charles Tiu-coached Mighty side milked the clock to their advantage.
Mighty will face the winner of the other semifinal game between reigning champion Al Riyadi and Hoops of Lebanon on Sunday (Manila time), where it is looking to be the first non-Middle Eastern country to win the crown.
Andray Blatche chipped in 17 points, 11 boards and eight assists, as Mikey Williams shot 3-of-7 from deep to wound up with 12 points and three rebounds.
Thirdy Ravena added seven points, two boards and two dimes off the bench, while Fil-Am winger Jamie Malonzo had six points and six rebounds.
Sale banked on Najah, who poured 20 points and 10 rebounds in the defeat.
Soufiane Kourdou also tallied 20 points, three boards, and three assists, while Tunisian legend Radhouane Slimane came alive late and scored 14.
Mighty Sports 80 - Balkman 29, Blatche 17, Williams 12, Ravena 7, Malonzo 6, Kendrick 5, Moore 6, Go 0, Ju. Gomez de Liano 0, Belga 0.
Sale 76 - Kourdou 20, Najah 20, Slimane 14, Arnold 11, Elmasbahi 6, Almahini 5.
Quarterscores: 25-15; 44-34; 66-55; 80-76.