25 May, 2024
01 June
25 Cody Lalanne (KUW)
to read

Games you can't miss in the FIBA WASL Final 8 2024

DOHA (Qatar) - The FIBA West Asia Super League (WASL) Final 8 2024 is upon us, at last, and there will surely be no shortage of thrilling encounters in the battle for supremacy.

From long-time domestic rivals, to grudge matches, and everything in between, here are some of the games you can't miss in the tilt set at the Lusail Sports Hall in the Qatari capital!

Kazma versus Kuwait Club
May 26, Sunday
18:00 local time

The Final 8's first two playdates will feature triple-header offerings and Sunday will see familiar foes slug it out in a grand stage as Kuwait Club and Kazma face one another.

It will be a rematch of the recent Gulf League Semi-Finals, with Kuwait Club looking to assert mastery of their domestic foes after sweeping them in the best-of-3 series. They eventually won their second straight sub-zone title at the expense of Manama, 2-1.

The wards of Coach Peter Schomers are coming into the Final 8 hot, having won the Kuwait Basketball League just week for their sixth straight championship.

But of course, Kazma are no pushovers, with Clint Chapman and Co. looking to get back at the perennial contenders after being swept in the Semis that included a blowout in Game 2.

Al Riyadi versus BC Astana

May 26, Sunday
21:00 local time

Right after that all-Kuwaiti clash will see a rematch of the last Third-Place Game of the Final 8 between Al Riyadi and BC Astana in the main-event affair of the Sunday Special.

The team of Kazakhstan are looking to repeat against the defending two-time West Asia League champions. It could be recalled that they beat the latter, 94-90, to secure a podium finish, leaving their foes a frustrated bunch after a dream season ended without a medal.

Al Riyadi aimed to salvage a third-place finish after injuries to Wael Arakji and Ali Mansour derailed their title hopes, only for their plans to get spoiled by the Central Asia representatives.

Sagesse SC versus Al Riyadi

May 27, Monday
21:00 local time

The Yellow Castle will be taking center stage the following night as they figure in what should be another classic chapter to the Lebanese Derby against Sagesse SC.

Game time is at 21:00 in a rematch of the 2023-24 Snips Lebanese Basketball Championship Finals, marking yet another meeting between the two outside of their domestic league.

Sagesse are the ones coming in looking for payback. For starters, the crew dragged Al Riyadi to a sudden death in their West Asia League best-of-3 Semis, but failed to complete the series comeback after receiving a harsh 86-65 beatdown in Game 3 in Zouk Mikael.

Al Riyadi are currently leading their Finals series, 3-1.

Kuwait Club versus Shahrdary Gorgan

May 28, Tuesday
21:00 local time

Tuesday night will witness a Gulf versus West Asia bout as Kuwait Club take on Shahrdary Gorgan in another meeting between two of the FIBA WASL favorites.

It could be remembered that these two have already faced one another in the last Final 8, with the Kuwaiti side coming out on top, 95-85, in the tournament opener in Dubai.

They surely want to take this one again but it would be intriguing to see how they'd fare. Kuwait Club will be facing a different Gorgan this time, with Arsalan Kazemi and Will Cherry leading the charge for a team previously bannered by Mohammad Jamshidi and Behnam Yakhchali.

Al Riyadi versus Manama

May 29, Wednesday
21:00 local time

Manama and Al Riyadi never had the opportunity to take on each other again after meeting during the early goings of the Group Phase of the previous Final 8.

The Bahraini side actually absorbed a dejecting 112-84 beatdown then but that proved to be the only loss they'd incur, winning all their succeeding matches on the way to becoming the first-ever FIBA WASL champions by beating Kuwait Club in the title bout, 67-59.

Now, Manama and Al Riyadi will lock horns once more in a rematch that could be crucial for both of the successful clubs' respective bids to bring home the ultimate prize.

For Manama, it would be a chance not just for revenge but to gauge how their title defense could go. For the Lebanese side, it should be a solid test in its aim to 'win everything.'

The game could be important, too, for the rest of Group A as it could dictate how the seedings would go in a pool perceived as a Group Of Death since it also has Sagesse and Astana.