13 November, 2023
08 May, 2024
29 Will Cherry (GOR)
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FIBA WASL-West Asia semis ticket within reach of Shahrdary Gorgan

BEIRUT (Lebanon) - Shahrdary Gorgan could secure the first trip en route to the FIBA WASL-West Asia League Semi-Finals as Season 2 action returns next week.

Currently the no. 1 team in Group A with an unblemished 4-0 card, the reigning three-time Iranian champions will be shooting for a direct flight to the said round when they face Al-Ittihad Ahli on the road on Thursday night at the Al Hamadaniyeh Stadium in Aleppo.

Should they do so, it would be the second straight sub-zone semis trip for the ball club. It could be recalled that the batch bannered by Mohammad Jamshidi and Behnam Yakhchali also did it in the inaugural season, where they went all the way to the West Asia Final.

Tip-off is at 19:00 local time (GMT+3), with the visiting side armed with the mental edge as they've previously beaten their Syrian counterparts by way of a 121-70 conquest last November 29, which now stands as the most points scored by a team in FIBA WASL.

Of course, Arsalan Kazemi and the rest of his squad would want to score another victory given what's at stake, but it may not be that easy as they'd be entering enemy territory.

The Al Hamanadiyeh Stadium has hosted record crowds this season and it could be the case once more, with Al-Ittihad Ahli playing their first FIBA WASL home game since December 14.

Plus, morale is sky-high within the crew led by Nadim Issa and Anthouny Bakar. They're coming off a 74-62 road win over Al Naft last January 10 that clinched them a spot in the West Asia Final Phase, making them the first Syrian team to accomplish as much.

Also looking to improve their chances for the West Asia Final Phase are Sagesse as host the 0-4 Al Naft on Wednesday night at the Ghazir Club Stadium. Game time is at 21:45 local time.

The Lebanese side are keen on picking itself up from that 81-68 defeat to Gorgan in Tehran last January 11, hoping that the arrival of Jonathan Gibson would be the start of another win streak just like what they had with Pierre Jackson in tow before he left for China.


8/12 games played

# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 GOR Shahrdary Gorgan 4 4 0 100   388 271 117 97 67.8 8
2 SAG C.S. Sagesse 4 2 2 50.0   313 317 -4 78.2 79.2 6
3 AHL Al-Ittihad Ahli 4 2 2 50.0   295 336 -41 73.8 84 6
4 NAF Al Naft 4 0 4 0   271 343 -72 67.8 85.8 4

Meanwhile, tickets to the FIBA WASL-Gulf League Final Phase could also be secured by Kuwait Club and Muharraq should they ace their respective assignments.

Kuwait Club will open game week with another tussle against the young Al Rayyan, this time on the road, on Monday at the Lusail Multipurpose Hall in Doha.

The game set at 20:00 local time will be an opportunity for the reigning sub-zone champions to get back on track after that shocking 101-96 loss to Muharraq last January 8, which ended their long 13-game winning streak that dated back to the Gulf inaugurals.

Coach Peter Schomers and Co. (3-1) will try to do so against a team that's in the midst of a three-game losing skid, with their most recent loss arguably the toughest one to fathom yet - an 89-84 decision versus Al Ahli-Jeddah that saw Al Rayyan squander a 19-point lead.

It was the first FIBA WASL win for the Saudi Arabian side and they'd surely want to follow it up with another against Muharraq at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Sports Hall in Jeddah.

But it's not lost on DeAndre Liggins and Co. that they will have to be at their best to do so, especially against a Bahraini team that just ended the winning streak of Kuwait Club.

Plus, of course, Bader Malabes and the rest of Muharraq (3-1) are coming in with that added motivation, since a victory would guarantee their place in the much-anticipated next round - and could set up a thrilling finish to the top seed of Group A.


8/12 games played

# Team P W L % Last 5 For Agt +/- FA AA  
1 KUW Kuwait Club 4 3 1 75.0   399 347 52 99.8 86.8 7
2 MUH Muharraq Club 4 3 1 75.0   366 349 17 91.5 87.2 7
3 RYN Al Rayyan 4 1 3 25.0   309 341 -32 77.2 85.2 5
4 AHJ Al Ahli 4 1 3 25.0   349 386 -37 87.2 96.5 5