Sauod dominates extra period, Al-Riyadi gets first win at FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018
NONTHABURI (FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018) — It wasn’t as easy a victory as Al-Riyadi would have wanted, but the defending champions managed to bounce back with a win over Mono Vampire 106-100 in overtime.
The Lebanese club was on the verge of taking their second straight defeat before an off-balanced three-pointer by Mark Lyons tied the game up at 87 with 4.5 seconds left in the clock.
Lyons did not score again in the overtime period of the game and finished with 27 points and 10 assists. However, Al-Riyadi didn’t need Lyons to put any more points on the board with Amir Saoud and Bassel Sawji combining for all of the team’s 19 points in the extra session.
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Saoud’s performance was one for the ages, flirting with a triple-double of 30 points (led team), 9 rebounds, and 8 assists. His long range shooting was on point, knocking down 5 of 10 three-point shots.
While Lyons and Saoud were attacking the Mono Vampire from the perimeter, Bawji dominated down in the paint. The lumbering forward had 25 points and 16 rebounds, missing only 7 of his 18 attempts from the field.
Mono Vampire had a chance to win the game on a last second attempt by Marcus Keene in regulation, but the left-handed layup bounced off the backboard to the disappointment of the rowdy crowd at Stadium29. Keene still finished with 25 points, but struggled to get his shots off against the suffocating defense.
The loss by Mono Vampire spoiled big games by Michael Singletary and Teerawat Chantachon. Singletary had a massive 30-point, 20-rebound game while Thailand National Team center Chantachon poured in an impressive 21 points and 9 boards.
While Mono Vampire were able to dominate on the glass, outrebounding Al-Riyadi 56-41, they were just unable to stop the defending champions from scoring. Ahmad El Farran’s squad shot a blistering 51.9% from the floor as well as 42.4% from downtown.
Al-Riyadi are 2nd place in Group B with a 1-1 record and head-to-head advantage over the Mono Vampire. They will face the winless Meralco Bolts in the last day of Group Phase play. Mono Vampire will face undefeated Alvark Tokyo, where a win could potentially cause a three-way tie for the top spot of Group B.