25 May, 2024
01 June
28/05/2024
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Kuwait Club stop Gorgan in their tracks, sweep way into Semis

DOHA (Qatar) - Kuwait Club took down Shahrdary Gorgan, 85-77, to sweep their way into the FIBA WASL Final 8 2024 Semis, Tuesday night at the Lusail Multipurpose Hall.

Marcus Georges-Hunt led the way with 23 points, none more important than his corner triple with 1:14 left to play as it served as the dagger that ultimately enabled the reigning two-time Gulf League champions to come out on top of the battle between unbeaten teams.

 

The crew finished as the top seed of Group B with a perfect 3-0 record against the same club it beat in the Group Phase as well of the previous Final 8 in Dubai. They will face the no. 2 team of Group A for their foes in the crossover Semis scheduled on Friday, May 31.

"It took us a few minutes to find ourselves but then, we found good rhythm offensively and defensively, everybody contributed, really," said head coach Peter Schomers, who's back manning the sidelines after being out in their first two games due to sickness.

Cady Lalanne delivered as usual with another double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds., Moh Hasan fired 14 points as the seasoned forward made 3 of the team's 8 triples.

Omran Jawhar chipped in 10 points on a perfect 5-of-5 field goal shooting alongside 9 rebounds, 5 of which he hauled down on the offensive end. and 3 blocks.

Kuwait Club's balanced attack more than made up for the rare off-night of Joe Young, who was held to just a 3-of-12 clip from the field for 10 points after averaging 35.0 points prior.

"We had some really good stops in the end. Appreciate the guys for making important baskets. Omran was there to help; Hamad had great key shots as he usually does; Marcus, too. So everybody chipped in. It was a good win for us," said Schomers.

Leading Gorgan was Will Cherry, who finished 19 points in their first defeat of the tournament after posting convincing victories against Kazma and Tamil Nadu, in that order.

Sina Vahedi had 15 points, while Amir Azari and Salar Monji supplied 14 and 13 markers, respectively, for the back-to-back West Asia League runners-up, who actually heated up in the third quarter and even took a 58-53 lead but could not keep it.

 

In the first game of the night, Kazma needed to ward off a Tamil Nadu late-game uprising before escaping with the narrow 102-96 decision to end their campaign on a high note.

Abdulaziz Mohsen nailed a back-breaking triple with 32.6 seconds left, before Elijah Robinson, Clint Chapman, and the others did a little bit of everything to help repel the opposition, who came to within just three points, 95-92, from a deficit as big as 21 in the third quarter.

A split from the line by Abdulaziz Fadhel with 6.2 seconds to spare would serve as the finishing touch to make sure that the Kuwaiti side would leave with a win after falling short in their first two matches against Gorgan and local rivals Kuwait Club, respectively.

"We knew it's gonna be a tough game," said Kazma head coach Bojan Lazic. "We have great respect to this team. They played really, really aggressive. They didn't give up. So we knew that the game was gonna be tough. I congratulate my team for finding the strength."

Chapman showed the way for Kazma with a game-high 39 points and 16 rebounds, netting an efficiency (EFF) of 42 on his way to collecting STEP AHEAD Player of the Game honors.

Travis Leslie was just a rebound short of a double-double with 22 and 9. Robinson came through with 14 points, while Ahmad Albaloushi delivered 12 points, 11 assists, and 4 steals to help the squad emerge triumphant in a battle of also-ran teams.

"These guys (Tamil Nadu) came in and fought for three straight games. A lot of respect to them. But to us, finishing the season on a win is nice," said Chapman. "It's been a great opportunity."

On the other hand, James Farr and Arvin Krishnan had 19 points apiece to lead Tamil Nadu, who finished their stint with a 0-3 card although the champions from India proved that they are better than their record given the fight they showed in the tournament.

Muin Bek Hafeez supplied 18 points as the trio were key in the comeback that fell short, with Hafeez nailing the first of two treys that got them to within three points before Mohsen nailed his own on the other end to build a gap that they couldn't surpass anymore.

But none from the team hung their heads, with all of them beaming with pride for the gallant stand they had against some of the renowned ball clubs in the region.

"I think it was a great experience for all of my Indian players," said head coach CV Sunny. "This was a wonderful opportunity for the Tamil Nadu team. This will help them improve."

FIBA