Riyadi return to Final with redemption in mind
CHENZHOU (FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017) - Al Riyadi thumped rivals Petrochimi in the second Semi-Final of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017 to return to the Final.
From the get-go, it was clear that Al Riyadi were on a mission, and they once again showed their supreme determination and teamwork to subdue a talented Petrochimi side, 74-64. The Lebanese opened up a double-digit lead in the second quarter and staved off repeated rallies by their Iranian neighbors to prevail and set up a rematch of epic proportions with defending champions and hosts China Kashgar in the Final.
Remember that Al Riyadi were frustrated when they lost to the Chinese in last year's Final, and there is no doubt that redemption is on their minds as they enter the titular Final game tomorrow. The game was closer than the score suggests, but it was clear what really gave Al Riyadi the edge in this encounter - offense.
Coach Ahmad El Farran's wards shot a lot much better from the field, making close to 43% of their attempts while Petrochimi struggled with only 34% field goal shooting. It also helped Riyadi that they made 9 three-pointers in this game opposite the 4 that Petrochimi sank.
Naturalized player prospect Quincy Douby was great again, scoring 23 points laced with 5 assists and 2 triples to lead the way for Riyadi. Big men Chris Daniels and Ali Haidar also played their roles well, pairing up for 28 points and 19 rebounds.
Adams, however, got a bit more help, with Yu Changdong, Makan Kelanbaike and Mugedaer Xirelijiang all scoring in double-figures. On the other side, only Anthony Clemmons scored in double-digits outside of Carter with 22 points. Andray Blatche played sparingly again, notching 4 points in only 6 minutes of action.
A crucial factor was Riyadi's effective defense, which limited the usually prolific Willie Warren to just 10 points on 4-of-13 field goal shooting. Petrochimi had only two players score in double-figures - Arsalan Kazemi and Saeid Davarpanah - who combined for 27 points and 17 rebounds.
It was a valiant stand for Petrochimi, but now they go back to the dressing rooms falling short of their main mission to win the entire thing. Petrochmi are set to face BC Astana in the game for third place.