Palestine cruise past Kuwait for second straight triumph
The duo combined for 46 points, 14 rebounds and four steals, and Abu Shamala showed off his perimeter shooting skills once again by making all four of his attempts from long range after opening the tournament on Wednesday with a six-of-10 display from the arc in Palestine's 75-73 upset of the Philippines.
In command by half-time with a 49-35 lead, the Palestinians put the game out of reach by scoring 20 of the first 22 points in the third quarter.
Turning point: Palestine started fast, with Abu Shamala nailing a three-pointer and then Sakakini hitting back-to-back shots from the arc. Ahmed Haroon followed with a basket for an 11-0 advantage and the Palestinians were in command the rest of the way.
Stats Don't Lie: Palestine put the opposing defense under pressure for the entire game and got to the free-throw line often, making 21 of 30 attempts to just seven of 13 for Kuwait.
Game Hero: Sani Sakakini, who carried the team on his back to qualification for the FIBA Asia Championship and shone on opening day against the Philippines, dominated Kuwait with 25 points and eight rebounds in less than 28 minutes of action.
The Bottom Line: Palestine are first-timers in the FIBA Asia Championship and showing they belong with a fast 2-0 start. Any team that takes them lightly is likely to pay the price because Sakakini are Abu Shamala ooze with quality and can carry the team for long stretches.