19 December, 2022
23 May, 2023
2 Mustafa Matwali (KWT)
Game Report
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Matwali-Pullen duo propel Kuwait Club past Al Sadd in OT

KUWAIT CITY (Kuwait) - Kuwait Club leaned on Mustafa Matwali and Jacob Pullen to beat Al Sadd in overtime, 99-93, to begin their WASL campaign on a high note, Tuesday night at the Shaikh Saad Alabdullah Sport Hall Complex in Kuwait City.

The two formed a solid 1-2 punch in extra time, connecting on back-to-back alley-oop plays that opened up things for the home team on the way to crushing the visitors' comeback hopes after rallying from 17 points down early.

Kuwait Club, more importantly, gained early leadership of Group B (1-0) in the Gulf League following the character-testing victory.

Game heroes: Pullen finished with 22 points and 6 assists as his playmaking down the stretch ultimately saved his side from a meltdown, as well as the efforts of the first group led by Marcus Georges-Hunt.

Georges-Hunt also ended up with 22, 18 of which he made in the first half that saw him star in an 11-0 run towards a 27-10 lead in the opening frame.

Cody Lalanne registered a double-double of 15 points and 16 rebounds with 5 blocks, while Matwali chimed in 12 markers for Kuwait Club.

Their efforts wasted the triple-double outing -- WASL's first -- of Vander Blue for Al-Sadd. He finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Turning point: The hosts trailed by a solitary point following Blue's split from the line early in OT, but Pullen and Mustafa connected on an alley-oop play for the go-ahead bucket with 3:44 remaining.

The two would then connect for another similar play shortly after, before Pullen and Hamad converted back-to-back pull-up jumpers for 8 straight points that gave their side the 94-87 lead with less than 2 minutes to go.

It would be all Kuwait Club since then, with Pullen feeding Mustafa for yet another jam, 99-91, with 52.2 seconds left to emphatically cap off the win.

Stats don't lie: Both squads were almost even in stats departments but Kuwait Club received far better support from the bench, 44-7.

They said: "We can play much better. We had a good start. But after that, we kinda lost it and we never got back to our rhythm. For us it's a wake-up call." - Peter Schomers, Head Coach, Kuwait Club

"It's a new challenge for us. The smallest details really affected us mentally and physically. Hopefully we'll be ready for this challenge. We thank God for today's game. Today was a new challenge for us." - Mustafa Matwali, Kuwait Club