19 December, 2022
25 May, 2023
26 Duop Thomas Reath (RIY)
Game Report
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Al Riyadi a win away from WASL-West Asia Final with rout of Beirut Club

BEIRUT (Lebanon) - Al Riyadi produced a masterclass against Beirut Club, 104-77, to move just one win away from clinching a coveted seat to the WASL-West Asia League Final, Wednesday night at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex.

Still in rhythm from that conquest of Orthodox Amman in last week's Qualification to Semi-Finals, the crew unloaded 61 points in the first half -- the most in a half by any team in West Asia -- and the game would never be in question since.

Now owning a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 showdown, Al Riyadi could wrap it up in Game 2 next Wednesday on their own stomping grounds at the Saeb Salam Stadium.


Game heroes: Kevin Murphy top-scored for Al Riyadi with 26 points, all of which he made in the first half alone to lead their fiery showing alongside Duop Reath.

The club's latest acquisition brought instant impact despite the fact that he's only been with his new team for three days, dropping 24 points on top of 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks for a full line in just 21 minutes of play.

Forty-two of the team's first-half output came from Murphy and Reath.

Amir Saoud was the other double-digit scorer for Al Riyadi with 15 points, along with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and a game-high 3 steals -- half of the team's total.

STEP AHEAD Player of the Game: Reath swiftly earned the fans' nod that he got STEP AHEAD Player of the Game honors by getiing 51-percent of the votes online.

Turning point: Al Riyadi already posted a 25-10 lead at the end of the first but it wasn't until the following frame where they'd take control of the game for good.

There, they sizzled for 33 points, taking full advantage of Beirut Club losing Jordan Jackson to a knee injury at the 8:54-mark that made matters worse for the home team that just could not pull itself together the entire night.

Stats don't lie: Al Riyadi shot 51-percent from the field thanks to their wealth-sharing that yielded 18 assists, although it was also the way they maximized their chances on the open court that did wonders as they collected 17 points off the break.

But defense proved key as well in the win, which saw the crew of Coach Ahmad El Farran hold their foes to below-average field goal shooting with 40-percent. They also forced Beirut Club to 12 turnovers, which they converted into 19 points.

They said: "I'm so lucky as a coach to have these players with me. Lots of talent in our team. It's not easy to manage all these players 'cause they're [among] the best in the Lebanese league and in the region, especially we have a lot of them in the national team of Lebanon. So I'm very lucky, I'm very proud. And I'm enjoying the moment, and I'm enjoying my season. Looking forward for more wins." - Ahmad El Farran, Head Coach, Al Riyadi

"It was our defense, most importantly. Offensively, we know we can score the ball, we know we have scorers on our the team, we know everybody can get going on any given night, but defensively, we locked in." Kevin Murphy, Al Riyadi

"Just playing with instincts. We just play hard here. Everybody just plays with their instincts. Just trusting the best of our abilities." - Duop Reath, Al Riyadi

"Extremely tough. He's (Jordan Jackson) family. He's a brother. I pray that he's OK, that he can stay with the team and help us. It was tough but hopefully, he can bounce back and get back on the court soon." - Kenny Hayes, Beirut Club

"They came out very hot. Big credit to them. And we didn't make any adjustments during the game, and they kept going and going and going and we didn't have solutions. Next game we have to step up defensively because you cannot win while the other team scored a hundred points on you." - Ali Haidar, Beirut Club