19 December, 2022
25 May, 2023
13 Ater Majok (RIY)
Game Report
to read

Al Riyadi ward off Gorgan in battle of budding rivals

BEIRUT (Lebanon) - Al Riyadi staved off Gorgan, 81-74, in a clash of budding West Asia Super League rivals, Wednesday night at the Saeb Salam Stadium.

Wael Arakji starred with 27 points, 9 of which he made in the third quarter alone to lead the home team in seizing control of the match after the first half ended in a 39-all deadlock. He also collected 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals.

The star guard, however, was not able to finish the game as he and counterpart Parrish Petty got ejected after going physical with one another.

Still, he had done more than enough damage for Al Riyadi to register the 7-point win that also gained the club a share of Group B leadership in the West Asia standings with Al Naft, who beat Alkaramah earlier in Damascus.

Game heroes: Ricky Ledo was part of Al Riyadi's balanced attack as he finished with 17 points on a trio of triples, alongside 6 rebounds.

The towering Ater Majok produced 14 points on a 7-of-8 clip from the field as he organized a dunkfest, much to the delight of the crowd that trooped to the venue. Karim Zeinoun chipped in 13 markers on 4 treys.

Behnam Yakhchali, meanwhile, led Gorgan with 26 points on 52.6-percent shooting. Petty was the only other double-digit scorer with 16 in the loss.,

Turning point: Zeinoun opened the third quarter with a triple and the 1-2 punch of Arakji and Majok buckled down to work to put together a 14-4 run towards a 53-43 lead with under 5 minutes remaining in the second period.

Al Riyadi would never trail since. They even led by as many as 14 points, 65-51, just before the third canto came to a close, although their foes tried, still.

Gorgan knocked to within just 79-72 behind a tough shot from the outside by Perry but their comeback aspirations just could not come into fruition.

Stats don't lie: Al Riyadi actually lost in departments such as rebounding (33-37) and turnovers (15-18), but shot the ball much better than their counterparts with a 51-percent clip compared to Gorgan's 40-percent.

They said: "We knew it was going to be a tough game so we knew we had to step up. The first half was tied at 39 and the coach told us at halftime that we need to step up defensively so that’s what we did, followed what the coach said and then we took the lead and controlled the game all the way until the end." - Karim Zeinoun, Al Riyadi.