19 December, 2022
23 May, 2023
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Kuwait Club look to clinch Gulf crown, Manama out to send series to winner-take-all

BEIRUT (Lebanon) - Becoming the first WASL-Gulf champions is what Kuwait Club would like to achieve as they take on Manama in Game 2 of the Finals, Monday night.

Match is at 20:00 local time, with the reigning Kuwaiti Division 1 Basketball League champions looking to finish off the opposition on their very own home floor at the BBA Arena in the Bahraini capital to arrange their date with destiny.

The consensus title favorites are coming into the potential clincher undefeated, winning their ninth game in as many outings in the best-of-3 opener by way of an 87-78 result at home last Monday at the Shaikh Saad Alabdullah Sport Hall Complex.

However, that win was by no means easy as they needed to repel the grit-and-grind crew, who gave out a major late-game scare after being down by as much as 15.

Lamont Jones spearheaded Manama's comeback attempt that saw the crew get to within a field goal, 79-77, but Cady Lalanne was there to halt the rally before Marcus Georges-Hunt and Jacob Pullen pulled off the finishing blows to secure the W.

It was, without a doubt, one of the toughest matches Kuwait Club figured into this season, but Schomers and Co. were left unfazed.

"It's not easy when you're up the whole game and the other team is like, we have nothing to lose, and then you start making a couple of mistakes ... It can happen," he said postgame. "But like I said, they couldn't get over the hump."

"They couldn't connect. And we hit the important baskets, and had the important stops," furthered the veteran bench tactician.

Lalanne, on the other hand, was glad with how his team played defense most especially in the midst of the Bahraini champions' furious rally.

"That's what we've been talking about all week, playing defense," said the seasoned big man, who finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 blocks.

"We know we can score the ball. We lead the league in scoring. But defense is just something that we gotta lock in on. Towards the end that's where we locked in on. Stayed poised, got some stops to help us win the game," he added.

That. surely, will once again be Kuwait Club's main objective for Game 2, given that their foes are scheming for one big retaliation to stay alive in the title hunt.

But it won't just be the lone motivation fueling Coach Linos Gavriel's wards. Manama have gone 0-3 against their Kuwaiti counterparts this season after last week's loss, and they definitely want to change that narrative and become the 1 in 9-1.

Jones, of course, will be leading the assault yet again, but the other usual providers such as but not limited to Elijah Robinson, Travin Thibodeaux, and Mohammed Hamooda are expected to go all-out, too, in trying to send the series to Game 3.