13 November, 2023
08 May, 2024
34 Abbas Al-draisawi (NAF), 4 Karrar Hamzah (NAF), 30 Antwaine Wiggins (NAF)
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Meet the FIBA WASL West Asia teams: Al Naft

BEIRUT (Lebanon) - Al Naft would definitely want to go on a deeper run this time around as they have made their way back into the FIBA West Asia Super League (WASL).

It could be recalled that the ball club from Iraq managed to send their West Asia League Qualification to Semi-Finals best-of-3 series against ZobAhan to the limit and move a win away from the next round, but couldn't get the job done as they bowed in the decider, 95-83.

But it's an all-new season that draws near, and that, indeed, is an opportunity for the team to settle some unfinished business, with the hope, of course, to go all the way.



Owned and operated by the Iraq Ministry of Oil, Al-Naft Sports Club were founded in 1979. And like most of the participating teams in FIBA WASL, they're a multi-sports club.

Their basketball side, based in the Al-Rusada district in Baghdad, plays in the Iraqi Basketball League and have won seven championships. They have seen action outside of the country as well, having played in the WABA Champions Cup in 2019 that saw them finish third.



Al-Naft play their home games at the Al Shaeb Hall in Baghdad.


Al Naft sealed their place in FIBA WASL Season 2 after beating Al Shorta in six in the 2022-23 Iraqi Basketball League best-of-seven Finals. It was their sixth straight, seventh overall league crown, coming at the expense of the same team they'd beaten in the previous five title bouts.


Players to watch

Al Naft no longer have Edgar Sosa, the WASL-West Asia League inaugurals' best scorer, but they have retained key cogs that would surely help show the way this season.

For one, they still have Antwaine Wiggins. He was the sub-zone league's second-best scorer behind Sosa with 26.1 points per game, and also normed 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 2.7 steals.

There's also two-way guard Karrar Hamzah. He was the team's third-best player with per-game averages of 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.0 steals, and he's expected to take on a much bigger role this season, being one of the team's more experienced guys.

Reinforcing Al Naft together with the 34-year-old Wiggins, on the other hand, will be young yet seasoned players Elijah Thomas and Marcus Coleman, Jr.