Abdulaziz Alhamidi: Showcasing the Kazma spirit
BEIRUT (Lebanon) - If you take a look at the standings in Group A of WASL - Gulf, you will see Kazma currently sitting at third place with a 1-3 record.
"We will show people what the Kazma team spirit is."
It’s not the best position to be in this inaugural season of WASL, as it’s only one spot away from missing the Final Phase entirely which ultimately means missing out on qualifying for WASL Final 8 and, subsequently, the FIBA Asia Champions Cup and FIBA Intercontinental Cup. If things do not go Kazma’s way in the final two game days of WASL - Gulf, they could be looking at an entire year of pondering what went wrong.
However, Kazma’s star Abdulaziz Alhamidi isn’t too worried. More accurately, Alhamidi is confident about his teams’ chances of turning things around despite how they have started.
"We will never give up," said the 35-year-old forward. "We will show people what the Kazma team spirit is."
"I trust the team and our coaches and we will prove that in the upcoming games."
Even though Kazma are sitting in third place in the standings (which means they’ll head to the Qualification to Semi-Finals of the Final Phase if the Group Phase ended today), that might not paint the perfect picture of what the team is fully capable of. Looking into the detail of those three losses, Kazma have been competitive down the final seconds both against Al Hilal and the undefeated Shabab Al Ahli - Dubai. If the ball bounces a different way in a few key plays, Kazma could easily be at the top of the standings, looking towards a direct trip to the Semi-Finals of the Final Phase instead.
The proud club from Kuwait are also among one of the deepest teams in the competition. They are one of two teams that have at least six players averaging double-digits in scoring, including Alhamidi who is averaging 14.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.
Even with these positive outlooks from the first WASL games for Kazma and no matter how confident Alhamidi is of the teams’ chances, he knows there’s a lot more that they can showcase on the court.
"Kazma have not shown our strengths yet," he claimed. "In the next games we will put much more effort to win. Recently, we had to adjust between the domestic league and WASL, and that is what caused some exhaustion but that is good because it put us a step closer to the next stage."
With WASL being an entirely new competition in the region for all of these teams, there are no surprises that there were adjustments to be made. Through these adjustments of playing in this new setting, players like Alhamidi and teams like Kazma have learned and gained a lot from being a part of the action.
"I’m so grateful for this chance and I am so proud of what we are doing," said Alhamidi. "One of the benefits is the harmony built within the team."
"It is a great opportunity to play in WASL as it is a home-and-away format which gives us harmony as professional players."
"I’ve learned many things from the players on my team as I am always interacting with them."
But, of course, in a competition at this level where all of the teams are either champions or championship contenders in their respective national leagues, the games will be tough. And that’s what the Kuwait league finalists from last season like Kazma have found out in their debut run.
"We are always ambitious to be in first place among the big teams. It’s challenging and it needs a lot of work."
"Nonetheless, we are still working on it and we will never give up."
Because that’s what the Kazma spirit is all about.