Al Hilal, Shabab Al Ahli wrest for Group A lead; Kazma, Al Bashaer go for win no. 1
BEIRUT (Lebanon) - Only one streak will remain alive as Al Hilal and Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai square off in what should be a grindout affair between two of the best teams in the WASL-Gulf League to open the New Year.
Both are toting identical 2-0 records, making Monday night's affair not just a clash of unbeaten squads but also a fight for sole leadership of Group A.
|2||Shabab Al Ahli - Dubai||2||2||0||100||162||155||7||81||77.5||4|
|4||Al Nasr Riyadh||2||0||2||0||149||153||-4||74.5||76.5||2|
2 January 2023
Shabab Al Ahli - Dubai vs Al Hilal - 18:00 GMT+4 - Dubai City, Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Sports Hall
3 January 2023
Kazma vs Al Bashaer - 19:30 GMT+3 - Kuwait City, Shaikh Saad Alabdullah Sport Hall Complex
Al Hilal are coming in with sky-high confidence after scoring the most dominant victory in WASL to date by obliterating Al Bashaer by 32 points, 86-54, in their home floor at the Green Basketball Court in Riyadh.
The Saudi Arabian club has played and won their first two matches on their own stomping grounds, and they will surely be put to the test as the squad of coach Efstratios Koukoulekidis goes on the road for the first time.
Not only should there be a partisan crowd expected to show up at the Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Sports Hall, but Al Hilal will also be taking on a Shabib Al Ahli side that's coming off a pair of character triumphs.
The latest of which was a 91-86 conquest of a hungry Kazma at home, where coach Zoran Zupcevic's charges typified grace under pressure down the stretch once again after coughing up a 14-point first half lead.
Kazma and Al Bashaer, meanwhile, will look to break through as the 0-2 teams face each other on Tuesday at the Shaikh Saad Alabdullah Sport Hall Complex.
The Group A co-leaders' respective wins saw their usual suspects rise to the occasion and so, eyes will be on them once the battle begins.
Shabab Al Ahli, for one, received a grand total of 71 points from the trio of Nick Minnerath (25), Brandon Triche (24), and Omar Alshabebi (22) against Kazma, where they also joined hands to ward off their pesky foes.
Al Hilal, on the other hand, witnessed their frontcourt duo of Clint Chapman and Mohammed Alsuwailem lead the way in mauling Al Bashaer. The former lit it up with 34 points and 12 rebounds, while the 24-year-old had 15 and 17.