Al Ahli, BC Astana win big to close their group play
CHENZHOU (FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017) - Al Ahli Dubai and BC Astana disposed of their respective foes to notch big wins on the final day of group competition at the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017.
Al Ahli Dubai dashed the Quarter-Finals hopes of ONGC India, 72-71, and advanced to the knockout rounds as the fourth-seeded team from Group B. This was a nip-and-tuck affair all throughout, with Al Ahli needing to hit crucial free throws and make a huge defensive stop in the endgame to stave off India's final push and preserve their first win of the tournament.
As can be expected, it was Qais Omar Al Shabebi who starred for the Emiratis, scoring 25 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the triumph. Half-Filipino shooting guard Khalifa Salem backed him up with 16 points and three triples, while playmaker Jassim Alblooshi orchestrated the offense well with 8 assists on top of 10 points.
On the other end, ONGC India were paced by the backcourt tandem of Riyaz Uddin and Arjun Singh, who tossed in 20 and 17 points respectively.
In the second game of the day, BC Astana routed Thailand's Mono Vampire, 85-66, to record their third win and relegate the Thais to fourth place in the group. This was a pretty close game up until the fourth quarter, where the Kazakh side broke the game open and cruised to the 19-point win.
Anthony Clemmons, who had been struggling prior to this contest, finally broke out, scoring 20 points, grabbing 6 rebounds and handing out 3 assists. Justin Carter was prolific again, registering 27 points to lead Astana's cause. Michael Singletary was the long bright spot for Mono Vampire with 30 points, while foreign player Jason Brickman struggled again with just 7 points on 2-of-8 field goal shooting.