13 November, 2023
06 May, 2024
to read

Devin Ebanks hopes for more success in Manama homecoming

KUWAIT CITY (Kuwait) - It was practically a no-brainer for Coach Linos Gavriel to bring Devin Ebanks back to Manama when fate paved the way for a reunion.

That's all because of the trust the champion bench tactician has with the former NBA veteran after sharing the sweetest of victories together not too long ago.

"Definitely, being the second time here with me is not something that happens by luck," he said. "I respect his talent and where he comes from, and the sense of urgency he has."

"And, his personality, his winning mentality. We already won a championship together. That's why I trust him, and brought him back here," furthered Gavriel.

Ebanks joined the reigning FIBA West Asia Super League (WASL) champions ahead of their all-Bahraini Gulf League Semi-Final series against Muharraq last March, marking his return to the ball club which he helped conquer the Zain Basketball League back in 2022.


That homecoming of sorts also brought the 14-year pro back to the pan-regional competition after spending the early part of the ongoing season with Al Ahli Jeddah.

Ebanks actually helped the Saudi Arabian side earn the right to represent the country in FIBA WASL by winning the Saudi Basketball League championship in 2023, but his stint with the club ended when he suffered a leg injury during the middle of the Group Phase.

But as they say, fate works in mysterious ways. Soon, he would find himself flying back to Manama after being called by his former team - or in his own words, his 'family.'

"For me, I'm grateful to be back," Ebanks expressed. "I always consider Manama a family so I play with my heart, I play with my soul, and try to help my teammates as best as I can."

Well, he did prove as much in the all-important Game 2 of their Gulf League Final series against Kuwait Club on Monday night. The 34-year-old poured 21 points to help Manama escape with the 77-73 victory, which sent the best-of-3 affair to a winner-take-all next week.

Ebanks came through when it mattered most, calmly sinking both of his charities to break the 73-all deadlock with 5.4 seconds left to play as the crew eventually hacked out the win after losing a 70-56 lead they built with less than seven minutes remaining in the match.

"Devin here was big for us tonight the moment they made a comeback," Gavriel lauded. "We showed character in the end. We made our free throws this time compared to the first game."

Delivering in the clutch - and submitting another noteworthy performance in the sub-zone finale - made the bench tactician appreciate his prized forward even more. After Game 2, the New York-native is now averaging 22.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in the series.

"It's clear that he's giving us what I'm expecting him to give us. For him, it's not easy because he's coming from an injury, stayed home, and got back. So, it's big what he did for us and I'm sure he's gonna help us in the upcoming games as well," Gavriel said.


Now, Ebanks can't wait for Game 3 on their home floor at the Khalifa Sport City in Isa Town, where a chance to win another gold with Manama beckons for him.

"I love it," the former Los Angeles Laker responded when asked how much he likes his team's chances against their budding rivals in the decider. "I live for these types of games."

"I've been fortunate enough to win two titles in a row - here in Manama, and one in Saudi. So I'm trying to keep my own momentum as I get older in this game. As a team, I'm just ready to get to Game Three," he furthered. "I'm always looking ahead."