Kuwait Club stay perfect, run past Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai to get near WASL-Gulf Final
KUWAIT CITY (Kuwait) - Kuwait Club zoomed past Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai, 87-71, to remain perfect and, more importantly, move one win away from the WASL-Gulf Finals, Tuesday night at the Shaikh Saad Alabdullah Sport Hall Complex.
The home team pulled away for good in the final period, with Cody Lalanne and the Hasan Bros. leading the way as they collectively showed the same form that enabled the crew to go 6-0 in the Group Phase for a direct flight to the Semi-Finals.
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Kuwait Club are now up 1-0 in the best-of-3 series, and could wrap it up in Game 2 next Tuesday in Dubai to make their entry into the finale official.
Game heroes: Lalanne led the charge with 25 points for easily his best performance scoring-wise this season, together with 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks.
Hamad Hasan, on the other hand, almost had a rare triple-double as he finished with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists in 31 minutes as a starter.
Younger brother Mohammad delivered as well with 11 markers, as all but two of the 10 players fielded by Coach Peter Schomers scored at least 3 points in the win.
That spread-out attack was far from their opponents, who got reduced to a two-man show as Nick Minnerath and Brandon Triche carried the load for a side badly missing Qais Omar Alshabebi with 31 and 21 points, respectively.
STEP AHEAD Player of the Game: Hamad earned STEP AHEAD Player of the Game honors as he received 47-percent of the fans' votes in the online poll.
Turning point: Kuwait Club began to take control of the match late in the third canto but it was in the fourth where the floodgates opened, with Lalanne and the Hasan Bros. joining hands for a 15-0 run towards a 77-56 lead with 7:18 to go.
Their lead would swell to as huge as 25 points, 85-60, following Jacob Pullen's layup approaching the game's last four minutes.
Stats don't lie: Three-point shooting proved key for Kuwait Club as they drained 13, 6 of which came from the older Hasan. They shot 45-percent from the floor overall.
They said: "The third and fourth quarter, we improved and played well. We were better than the first half. But still, we need to cut our mistakes; if we start the next game like we played in the second half, we can win." - Hamad Hasan, Kuwait Club
"Getting to the Finals and trying to win the whole tournament is everybody's agenda. That's what we're really focused on. But we can't overlook teams because they're gonna come out and play hard, too. We're undefeated, so every team wants to be the first team to beat us and knock us out. I think we just gotta stay confident, and underestimate no team, and, come out and play our game. I think we should be good. Hopefully, we win the whole thing." - Cody Lalanne, Kuwait Club
"Obviously, Kuwait Club is the best team in WASL, and they played like it today." - Brandon Triche, Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai
"Sometimes, when you're missing some of the guys, you can't sit back and let the game come to you every time. We're missing just so many players that even if it's a bad shot, sometimes I gotta take it to get in rhythm. It just worked out [in a way] where didn't get a lot of guys a lot of touches. But overall, it was a good game; just in a few-minutes span, it fell apart." - Nick Minnerath, Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai