History repeats itself as Al Hilal disappoint Kazma with 15-point comeback
KUWAIT CITY (Kuwait) - Al Hilal kept their mastery of Kazma following yet another come-from-behind victory, 92-87, for their third win in WASL - Gulf, Monday night at the Shaikh Saad Alabdullah Sport Hall Complex in Kuwait City.
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Very much like their first encounter, Khalid Abdel Gabar came through when needed the most, coolly canning both of his free throws to give his side the 86-84 lead with 46.2 seconds left to play after being down by as much as 15 early.
New guy Nasser Alabsi and Mark Lyons then did their part by sinking their own sets of foul shots afterward to keep the home team at bay en route to rebounding from their narrow 70-75 loss to the unbeaten Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai.
Al Hilal improved to 3-1 in the Group A standings after dealing Kazma their third loss in four outings to stay at no. 3.
Game heroes: Mohammed Alsuwailem bannered Al Hilal with yet another double-double performance with 21 points and 16 rebounds in 38 minutes.
Abdel Gabar finished with 19 points and 7 rebounds, together with 2 assists and 3 steals as he proved bane for Kazma once more.
Lyons had 17 points. Osama Albargawi made 13 points, while Nasser Alabsi missed out on a double-double of his own with 9 markers and 8 boards.
STEP AHEAD Player of the Game: Alsuwailem earned STEP AHEAD Player of the Game honors as he received 30-percent of the fans' votes.
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Turning point: Al Hilal trailed 39-24 during the second period but chopped the gap gradually, eventually tying things up at 82-all with 2:35 to go following an 11-4 run led by Lyons, Alsuwailem, and Abdel Gabar, setting up the wild finish.
Stats don't lie: Al Hilal shot 48-percent from the floor and won the board, 50-44. Although they lost in various departments, the club from Saudi Arabia received far better support as their bench contributed 21 points.
They said: "At halftime, I spoke to my players to push a little bit, to wake up a little bit. After that we tried to change a little bit our defense. In the end we took this big result against this one team I respect too much. " - Efstratios Koukoulekidis, Head Coach, Al Hilal
"Majority of the things Coach said, we just followed his lead. First half, we turned the ball over a little too much especially myself, and at halftime the coaches just told the guards, 'Just keep playing, just keep going hard.' And the second half we just followed Coach and did the things he asked of us, and we did a good job executing." - Mark Lyons, Al Hilal
"We were a little bit unlucky. Second time against Hilal we lost by a few points. We played three quarters good, a little bit lost concentration, and they won the game. I'm satsfied how our players fought but we made mistakes." - Ivan Jeremic, Head Coach, Kazma