Young guns carry Al Riyadi in blowout of ONGC
Lebanon’s young stars took over in this game, with the duo of Wael Arakji and Karim Zeinoun combining for 41 points. Zeinoun hit 2 triples and made 9 of his 16 field goals, making the most of the opportunity given to him by coach Slobodan Subotic. Import Dewarwick Spencer played only 15 minutes and scored 17 points for Al Riyadi, while Ali Haidar added a 10-point, 10-rebound effort in support. For their part, ONGC were paced by the usual suspects, Amritpal Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, who paired up for 39 points.
Turning Point: ONGC actually held a 3-point lead in the early stages, but Al Riyadi didn’t take long to get things going, leading 29-22 at the end of the first quarter and then extending that to 49-36 at the half. The Lebanese went on another barrage in the third period that snuffed out all the fight in the outmatched Indian side.
Stats Don't Lie: Coach Subotic’s wards dominated in practically every facet of the game. They outrebounded ONGC, 59-45, and they had more assists, 16-6. Al Riyadi also forced 17 ONGC turnovers thanks to 13 steals, and the Lebanese reserves outscored their Indian counterparts, 34-8. It was complete and utter mastery for the Lebanese quintet.
Game Hero: Wael Arakji already showed his prowess last night in their win over Pauian, and he followed it up with another strong showing here. The man nicknamed “Lebanese Dragic” had his best game yet, scoring 21 points, grabbing 6 rebounds, handing out 6 assists and netting 5 steals. He also swished 3 triples for good measure, leading the charge for an Al Riyadi team looking to sweep group play.
The Bottom Line: Only one team stands in the way of a possible Group A sweep for the Lebanese — mighty Petrochimi of Iran. Both squads will collide tomorrow in what promises to be the tournament’s most exciting match up yet, and the winner will be Group A’s top seed heading into the Quarter-Finals. On the other end, ONGC are virtually out of the running for the next round, and only a huge blowout win over Pauian tomorrow will leave the Quarter-Finals door ajar for them.