AL HALA came away with an upset 70-63 victory over Muharraq last night in the Zain Bahrain Basketball League.
Hala made the key plays late in the game to thwart their heavily favoured rivals.
Muharraq led early in the final period but after a Hasan Gerashi three-pointer tied it at 53-all with seven minutes remaining on the game clock, Hala took full control.
One of two free-throws from American professional Loren Woods made it 56-55 and put Hala in the lead for good.
Muharraq tried to make a late rally and twice got to within two points on a pair of Ali Shukrallah baskets. But it was as close as they would get as Hala would have an answer each time to hold off their rivals.
Woods finished the game with 27 big points and 18 rebounds. Ali Jaffar added 14 while Mahmood Abbas added 10 markers.
Jamaican import Adrian Forbes paced Muharraq with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. Bader Abdulla Malabes chipped in with 13 while Ali Abbas had 10 points.
Hala improved to a 16-8 win-loss record and are on 40 points on the 13-team league standings. Muharraq dropped to an 18-6 mark for 42 points.
In yesterday’s other game, Al Najma powered past Samaheej 73-54.
Najma burst out of the gate and built a 31-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. They never looked back and enjoyed leads as big as 24 points.
Hussain Mohammed scored 15 markers off the bench to lead the victors. All his points came from beyond the three-point arc, where he was five-for-10 shooting. Mohammed Buallay finished with 12 points and Hussain Taqi had 10.
Abbas Jawadi and American Haminn Quaintance had eight points apiece, with Quaintance also registering seven assists for Najma.
Hussain Busafwan top scored for Samaheej with 15 points.
Najma claimed their 14th win to go with 10 losses. They have 38 points on the table. Samaheej dropped their 21st game and have 25 points.
League action continues tonight with a titanic clash between defending champions Manama and title hopefuls Al Ahli at 6pm, followed by Bahrain Club taking on Hidd at 7.45pm.