19 December, 2022
25 May, 2023
30 Antwaine Wiggins (NAF)
Game Report
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Al Naft back on track, foil Alkaramah upset bid for third win

BAGHDAD (Iraq) - No blowout whatsoever took place this time around but Al Naft still came out triumphant against Alkaramah, 82-72, to return to their winning ways in WASL-West Asia, Thursday night at the Al Shaeb Hall in Baghdad.

A hard-fighting Syrian side showed up wanting to avenge the 23-point humiliation they received in Damascus last December, but the Iraqi club was still better thanks to a balanced scoring spearheaded by Antwaine Wiggins.

Coming off a crushing 110-69 loss to Gorgan, Al Naft improved to 3-1 and captured solo second in Group A while keeping Alkaramah winless in four games.

Game heroes: Wiggins led the way with 25 points, including seven in the second quarter where the home team took control of the match. He also finished with 9 rebounds and 2 assists as he played the entire 40 minutes.

But it wasn't all him that made the bounce-back W possible, with both Karrar Hamzah and Jasim Muhammed Jabbar Al-saadi supplying 16 markers apiece, with the latter adding 12 rebounds for a double-double performance.

Abbas Al-Draisawi chipped in 12 markers as they stepped up on a night WASL-West Asia's top scorer Edgar Sosa was held to just 11 points.

STEP AHEAD Player of the Game: Wiggins deservingly earned STEP AHEAD Player of the Game honors, receiving 27-percent in the fan voting.

Turning point: Wiggins went a perfect 2-for-2 from the charity stripe to break a 47-all deadlock with 2:21 left in the second period, and that sparked a 7-0 run that gave Al Naft a 54-47 advantage entering the halftime break.

The hosts would stay in command the rest of the way. They inflated the lead to as big as 13 points, 75-62, early in the final period.

Stats don't lie: Both teams yielded almost the same figures in stats categories but Al Naft shot the ball better with a 45-percent clip from the floor, including 55-percent from inside the paint. They also converted second chances better, 17-11.