21 - 24
September 2023
Meet the team: Treble-winning Al Manama chasing fourth trophy of 2023
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Meet the team: Treble-winning Al Manama chasing fourth trophy in 2023

SINGAPORE (Singapore) - The FIBA West Asia Super League will be represented at FIBA Intercontinental Cup Singapore 2023 by Al Manama, a storied Bahraini club with 22 domestic championships to their name.

Who are they?

Al Manama are a club looking to make a name for themselves internationally, after setting a number of records back home in Bahrain.

The club was founded in 1946 and has won the domestic championship 22 times, including last season, and they the Bahraini Cup on 18 occasions, with last season being the most recent conquest.

All in all,  they have picked up a total of 40 trophies, more than any other club in Bahrain basketball.

The blue-red-white side attracted Linos Gavriel to take over playcalling duties twice over the last three seasons, coaching the squad in 2021-22 and taking over again in 2023 to win the historic treble: Bahraini League, Bahraini Cup, and the FIBA WASL.

How did they get here?

The FIBA West Asia Super League saw its first season in 2022-23, and Al Manama were located in the Gulf League to begin the first phase of the competition. They reached the Final, where they lost to Kuwait Club, but qualified to the season-ending Final 8 tournament in Dubai.

It was there where Al Manama played their best basketball, stunning Kazakhstan champs Astana 91-81 in the Semi-Finals, before getting one back on Kuwait Club in the Final. 

With a 67-59 win in the championship game, Al Manama engraved their name in history books. They will always be remembered as the first club to win the FIBA West Asia Super League competition.

Why should we watch them?

With Sir'Dominic Pointer on this roster, coach Gavriel knows he can call his number to deliver points whenever the offense needs something from nothing.

Pointer is a 31-year-old career journeyman with stops in the United States, Israel, Lebanon, Venezuela, Hungary, Cyprus and now Bahrain, and he was a big reason why they won the FIBA WASL, averaging 16.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks at the Final 8.

The steals and the blocks are no surprise to anyone, really.

Keep an eye on Hasan Mohamed Nowrooz, the 35-year-old who first joined Al Manama in 2008 and is still there, ready to shoot at around 40 percent from deep on four three-point shots per game, so consider him a potential game changer if he has his night.

Latavious Williams is going to bring a lot of international experience with his arrival over the summer, but perhaps the most interesting prospect on this team is the 21-year-old Mustafa Rashed.

Mustafa was the fourth-leading scorer at the Final 8, with amazing contribution in the two most important games, coming up with 23 points against Astana in the Semi-Finals, and 18 points in the decider against Kuwait Club.

He averaged 19.5 points while shooting 48.3 percent from deep at the Final 8, while getting five assists in two of his four games, proving he can do a bit of everything for this team.

Who will they play in Singapore?

The FIBA WASL champs are in Group B, and they will play the first game of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup Singapore 2023 against Basketball Champions League winners Telekom Baskets Bonn, on September 21. They will be back in action a day later, facing the Zhejiang Golden Bulls in the other group game.

The winner of that three-team group will move to the Final, the second-placed team will fight for the third step of the podium against the runner-up from Group A, while the third-placed team will battle for fifth spot in the tournament against the third-placed team from Group A.