Orthodox Amman claim away win in front of WASL record attendance in Aleppo
ALEPPO (Syria) - Orthodox Amman leave the 6,700 fans that packed the stands at Al Hamadaniyeh Stadium disappointed after beating Al-Ittihad of Aleppo, 59-40.
Despite the current hardships in Syria, the faithful fans of Al-Ittihad crowded the stands and rooted for their team from start to finish. The confirmed attendance of 6,700 fans currently stands as the highest attendance for a game in WASL so far.
The game itself went off to a slow start for both teams as the visitors led only 13-7 at the end of the first interval. The scoring picked up a bit in the second quarter, but both teams continued to struggle especially with their long range shooting.
The contest continued to be a low scoring affair out of the halftime break, but it was Orthodox Amman who struck quickly and early enough to get the cushion they needed in order to stay ahead for the rest of the way.
Three players from Orthodox Amman’s side reached double-digit scoring, led by Brandon Peterson and Freddy Ibrahim who both had 13 points.
For the home team, it was Ronald Delph who stood out in the season opener with a double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds.
Game Heroes: Aside from matching in points scored, Ibrahim and Peterson were the two key pieces to Orthodox Amman figuring out the puzzle in their first game. The two combined for 11 assists and continuously kept the ball moving for the visitors.
While Ibrahim pushed the ball in transition and sliced his way to kick-out dimes, Peterson was moving the rock in the paint, highlighted by some beautiful high-low and drop-off action.
Turning Point: In a game that was limited in three-pointers with both teams combining for only 8 in total, the triple by Ibrahim to start the second certainly gave the Jordanian club a large advantage towards the final buzzer.
Ibrahim capitalized in seizing the momentum of the game a few moments later when he threw down a dunk in transition at the six-minute mark of the third quarter.
Stats don’t lie: This might not have been a game that was easy on the eyes as Al-Ittihad Ahli shot only 25 percent while Orthodox Amman barely passed the 30 percent field-goal shooting mark.
Nonetheless this only emphasized the point that coach Harry Savaya made in the post-game press conference that he was pleased with his team’s defense (and the win), especially with Orthodox forcing 18 turnovers from the home team.
“It feels good, this is the first game in a while for our club. Our last game was maybe 6-7 months ago. the fans were amazing. They’re still here in the Gym! Slow start, but this is how is it, this is basketball and we picked it up in the second half so it feels good.” - Freddy Ibrahim, Orthodox Amman
“We waited for this game for a long time, but we did not have the game we expected… at the end, they played better than us.” - Facundo Petracci, Head coach of Al-Ittihad Ahli