13 November, 2023
06 May, 2024
Game Report
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Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai ward off Muharraq, near Gulf League Semis return

MANAMA (Bahrain) - Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai moved a win away from returning to the FIBA WASL-Gulf League Semi-Finals following a 97-87 win over Muharraq, Monday night at the BBA Arena.

The Emirati ball club drew huge performances from Qais Omar Alshabebi, Assane Boye, and Chavaughn Lewis as the trio bannered a strong start before taking turns in steadying the ship in the fourth quarter on the way to taking their best-of-3 Qualification to Semi-Finals opener.

Third-placers in the Gulf League inaugurals, they will look to finish it off at home in Game 2 next Monday, March 11, at the Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Sports Hall in Dubai.

Game heroes: Alshabebi finished with a game-high 29 points and 6 rebounds. Boye delivered 25 points and 11 rebounds while Lewis came through with a 22-6-8 stat line.

Boye already had 10 points in the opening quarter, while the Alshabebi and Lewis had eight apiece in the said period as they powered Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai's strong 31-19 start.

Turning point: The three would also be key in staving off their Bahraini counterparts, with Boye and Lewis helping out Talal Alnuaimi in stringing together a 7-0 run toward a 79-70 advantage approaching the seven-minute mark of the final chapter.

And when Muharraq got to within three twice, Alshabebi would come in to help produce the decisive 11-0 attack to be in control the rest of the way,  91-80 with 4:09 left to play.

Stats don't lie: Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai missed some players in the match either due to illness or injury, including top scorer Nick Minnerath, yet they still managed to turn in an efficient showing offensively. The team shot 59-percent from the floor, thanks to their 27 assists.

They said: "It wasn't an easy game especially since the team has four main players that are either ill or injured. I am very happy and proud of the players for putting on a lot of effort. You can obviously see that the team is incomplete, to the extent that three players had more than 20 points, and that shows that they put the extra effort and went the extra mile to make things happen. It wasn't an easy game." Oualid Zrida, Head Coach, Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai

"We came to Bahrain for one mission and the mission was accomplished. That was to win. Like what Coach Oualid said, despite the injuries and illness to some of our key players, I give major credit to the entire team ... everyone contributed to gain this win tonight." - Qais Omar Alshabebi, Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai

"Definitely staying in front of people. I felt like all of us were leaving the lane open. A guy will go in and then he was just dishing down to the low block or short corner and they're hitting jump shots or lay-ups. We didn't really run our offense to what we could have done ... but I feel like it's not all bad. It's still our second game with this crew, me coming in. I feel like there were spurts in the game that we did play well and cut the lead to two, or to one, and I feel like that's what we have to capitalize on." Ricky Ledo, Muharraq