After Mighty Sports won the title from the William Jones Cup on July 2016, corporation chief operating officer (COO), Caesar Wongchuking made sure the team has enough rest and preparation to play at the 2016 Merlion Cup hosted in Singapore.
Mighty Sports was invited to be the Philippine representative for the revived Merlion Cup Tournament. Six teams from Asia participated in the 2016 Merlion Cup including Singapore Slingers, Seoul Samsung Thunders, Westports Malaysia Dragons, Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor from Taiwan, Shanghai Sharks from China and Mighty Sports from the Philippines.
2016 Merlion Cup is the 10th edition of the Merlion Cup organized by the Basketball Association of Singapore, which marks the return of the tournament held 2 decades ago. It was held at the OCBC Arena, Kallang Singapore from September 21 to 25.
On the first day of the tournament for groups, Mighty Sports first dealt with the Seoul Samsung Thunders from Korea. The Philippine team didn’t win the first set but still was able to win the game with 87-92 total scores of Seoul Samsung Thunders and Mighty Sports respectively. The second, third, and fourth set were for Mighty Sports with scores of 17-23, 20-22, and 22-26.
On September 23, Mighty Sports was back in action against the Westports Malaysia Dragons. From first to fourth game set, Mighty Sports took the lead with a total score of 105-87.
For the semifinals on the 24th and 25th of September, Mighty Sports win the game against Singapore Slingers giving 72-70 total score with Dewarick Spencer 31 points. After winning from the Slingers, Mighty Sports faced the Shanghai Sharks which made the Philippine team suffered from a heartbreaking 78-77 loss to the Sharks in the final as Jimmy Fredette hit three free throws with no time left.
Fredette who was a former NBA player, called out foul by Alfred Thornton while attempting to do a three-point shot which failed Mighty Sports for the additional title after winning from Jones Cup in Taiwan last July.
2016 Merlion cup top three are Shanghai Sharks got the gold medal and first place, Mighty Sports for second place with a silver medal, and Seoul Samsung Thunders with a bronze medal on third place.
“We stuck to our game plan and it was working for us. It all boiled down to breaks. The Sharks deserved the win,” Mighty Sports head coach Charles Tiu said.
COO Caesar Wongchuking proudly said that not bringing home the gold means failure. According to Wongchuking, the team has successfully brought glory to the country by winning the Jones Cup and finishing second in the Merlion Cup. Mighty Sports organization thanked PBA, Rain or Shine and GlobalPort for their support to Mighty Sports on the game.
“We thank the PBA, and Messrs. Terry Que and Raymund Yu of Rain or Shine, and Rep. Mikee Romero of GlobalPort for their generosity and understanding in allowing Joseph Yeo of the Batang Pier to play in the 2016 Merlion Cup and the Elasto Painters for allowing Jeric Teng to play in the 2016 William Jones Cup,” Caesar Wongchuking said.
“Their commitment to Philippine basketball helped us bring glory to the country by winning the Jones Cup and finishing second in the Merlion Cup,” Wongchuking added.