More than records, Clint Chapman excited to see Kazma peak at right time
DUBAI (United Arab Emirates) - Clint Chapman accomplished what no other player in the FIBA West Asia Super League (WASL) had done as he and Kazma scored some sweet payback against Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai in a battle of Gulf League returnees, Tuesday night.
The 34-year-old forward became the first to register a 20-20 outing in the rising pan-regional competition, as he finished with 21 points and 21 rebounds to help the Kuwaiti side take down their Emirati counterparts by way of a 91-83 decision in the latter's home turf.
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By hauling down that many boards, he has also set the new record for most rebounds in a FIBA WASL game, eclipsing the previous mark of 20 tallied by Iranian star Arsalan Kazemi during his time with ZobAhan Isfahan back in the West Asia League inaugurals.
Quite a night for someone whose personal target heading into the match was to become more aggressive on defense and on rebounding, motivated by the 102-82 beatdown they absorbed at the hands of the now-Semi-Finals bound Manama last January 16.
He actually made a personal milestone in that loss to the 5-0 side. Chapman finished with 35 points, which are the second-most points in a FIBA WASL-Gulf League game.
"For me tonight, after our last match, I wanted to be much more physical," he offered during the postgame press conference at the Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Sports Hall.
"My goal was to rebound the ball, and play defense. The scoring came for me in the second half. But my goal tonight was defense, rebounding, and block shots. I know if I can do that well for this team, we can win games. We needed a breakthrough win and this is one of those for us."
Chapman did extremely well in those departments that he actually wrote records, but all those personal milestones hardly matter for the former Texas Longhorn.
"What’s important to me is winning the basketball games," he said. "Statistics are great, statistics help you keep the job. But it’s nothing without the other four players on the court, the other eight on the bench, and the coaching staff. We wanna win basketball games."
He's even prouder with the way they have turned things around this season. After starting out with back-to-back losses, Kazma have now won their second game by dislodging Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai in the race for the outright Semis trip in the sub-zone league.
They improved to 2-3 in the Group B standings, and the charges of Coach Bojan Lazic can now discuss about the Qualification to Semi-Finals set to tip off in March.
What excites Chapman even more is to see Kazma peak at the right time. "This is the best place to be at this time of the year. We want to improve little by little as we go. It’s better to start off at a lower level and then work your way up. I think that’s what we’re doing here," he said.
"It’s timing," added the 12-year pro. "You wanna peak at the right time, and there are still things we can improve on so we haven’t peaked yet, and I think that’s what’s important to keep our eyes on, little by little, game by game, improve. And I think this was a huge step for us."