Al Manama triumphant in thriller, deal Al Sadd another OT heartbreaker for second win
DOHA (Qatar) - Al Manama came out triumphant in easily one of the best games of the WASL season through a pulsating 99-94 overtime win against Al Sadd, Monday night at the Al-Gharafa Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall in Doha.
Ali Rashed broke the 90-all deadlock through a three-pointer with under two minutes left in the extra period, before Lamonte Ulmer, Elijah Robinson, and brother Mustafa Rashed all chimed in to secure the bounce-back victory.
Coming off a narrow loss to Kuwait Club, the squad from Bahrain have chalked up win no. 2 by dealing the Qatari side another OT heartbreaker similar to their defeat also at the hands of Kuwait Club in the season opener last December.
Game heroes: Al Manama received a surprise spark in Mohamed Hasan, who top-scored for the team with 20 points on 4 three-pointers.
'Mosti' supplied 18 points on a trio of treys for his best performance of the season so far. Robinson had 14 points, Ulmer tallied a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Ahmed Alderazi and Charles Garcia scored 10 each in the win.
Put to naught by the crushing loss, meanwhile, was the 27 points of Vander Blue and the 23-point, 11-rebound showing of Babacar Dieng.
STEP AHEAD Player of the Game: Earning STEP AHEAD Player of the Game honors was Rashed, who earned 34-percent votes from the fan poll -- votes he truly deserve especially after starring in Al Manama's first half attack with 11 points.
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Turning point: Al Manama appeared to be on the way to seizing control of the match after manufacturing a 9-0 run abridging the third and fourth quarters for a 67-60 lead, until Blue and the home team surged back, setting up the tight finish.
Omar Sadd even put Al Sadd ahead, 86-85, through a corner trey with 6.2 seconds left, and Garcia's split from the line on the other end sent the game to OT.
Stats don't lie: A team that shot 49-percent, Al Manama indeed received plenty of support from the reserves as they got 36 bench points compared to Al Sadd's 7.
They said: "I think we started the game good. We fol,owed the strengths of the coach, the gameplan. I think we took the lead two times but they made their shots. It was tough to give them open shots. But in overtime, we have the experience. So we were cool, we know that we will take our game when we play at our level. We are so happy with our performance. We're looking forward to the next one." - Ahmed Alderazi, Al Manama.
"It was a good game especially for spectators to watch. Interesting game. Very tense, like, WASL deserves to have such a good quality of basketball. In the end we were luckier; like my player said, we had a little bit more experience, and we stuck to the plan. I'm really proud of my players, they fought, they really followed instructions. Also, I want to thank the fans. It's not easy they came two games in a row yet they give us big support and also fans in Bahrain -- they have big fanbases." - Alen Abaz, Head Coach, Al Manama.
"Congrats to Manama. Very great team. We knew that going into the game. And we knew we need to have a better start compared to the last two games, and we did it this game. We fought back in the second half and we were gaining momentum but losing our big guy was a big hit. But we still fought and took it to overtime and had the chance to win in the end. I say good game from the guys." - Faissal Abuissa, Al Sadd