Kazma take down Manama on the road, move on cusp of Semi-Finals
MANAMA (Bahrain) - Kazma moved one win away from the WASL-Gulf League Semi-Finals following a solid display of resolve in beating a Manama away, 83-69, Monday night at the BBA Arena in Manama.
The visitors trailed by 13 points at the end of the first quarter, but began to turn the tides in their favor not long after before finally taking control in the second half en route to the 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 Qualification to Semi-Finals series.
Mejri had another good night for Kazma, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds
Now winners of three straight, the Kuwaiti ball club will look to finish it off in Game 2 next Monday at home at the Shaikh Saad Alabdullah Sport Hall Complex.
Game heroes: Latavious Williams starred in the comeback with 18 points and 10 rebounds, scoring 10 in the fourth quarter alone to help put the game away. The veteran forward also collected a game-high 5 steals.
Abdulaziz Alhamidi also rifled in 18 points, with star center Salah Mejri submitting a full line of 15 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocks.
Williams was red-hot in the 4th quarter for Kazma
Shane Rector made 13 points and 5 assists while Ahmad Albaloushi chimed in 12 markers, 2 boards, 2 dimes, and 2 steals in the triumph.
STEP AHEAD Player of the Game: Williams deservingly got the STEP Ahead Player of the Game citation as he received 22-percent of the votes in the online poll.
Turning point: Kazma did take the lead in the third quarter but the momentum started to shift their way in the second stanza, where they outscored the home team 21-8 to send the game to a deadlock at 38 heading into the break.
Stats don't lie: Defense and hustle proved key for Kazma. They racked up a whopping 13 steals and forced Al Manama to 19 turnovers, which they turned to 20 points. They also scored 17 second-chance points.
Manama fans cheering for their team against Kazma
They said: "We know that it will be a hard game for us. It's not easy to beat Manama on their home court. I've played many games here and I know how difficult it is to beat Manama. It was a big pleasure to play first time in a full gym ... We will try our best to win the game there [at home]. It will not be easy, but we must finish our job. Our job is to go to the next round. We have high expectations because we think we have a good team and we have a nice chance going into the next round." - Ivan Jeremic, Head Coach, Kazma