CHAMPIONS Manama sent out a stern warning to their title rivals last night in a resounding 80-63 victory over chief adversaries Al Ahli in the Zain Bahrain Basketball League.
The victors used a red hot third quarter where they outscored Ahli 34-9 to turn away an early deficit and take full control of what was once a see-saw contest.
Trailing 32-35 at the half, Manama came from the break gunning and scored 11 unanswered points that included three straight triples from Mohammed Qurban, Hassan Nowrooz and Maytham Jameel.
They then put together another 10-0 run before Ahli could find a basket and by then enjoyed a comfortable 53-37 cushion midway through the third.
It was all one-way traffic from there as Manama built leads of up to 24 points the rest of the way, and without their inspirational court general Hussain Shaker, Ahli had no answer. Shaker was serving the first of a two-game suspension following an incident in their previous game last week.
American professional Wayne Chism top scored for Manama with 22 points. He also had 14 rebounds and four blocks in the contest. Nowrooz was the only other double-digit scorer in the game with 15 points, including three from beyond the arc. Jameel and Ahmed Abdulaziz scored eight apiece, while Mohammed Hussain and Mohammed Kuwayed contributed seven points each.
Recently signed US import John Bohannon paced Ahli with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Hesham Sarhan added 16 and four steals, while Kadhem Majed chipped in with 11 markers.
With the result, Manama improved to a 23-1 win-loss record as they stayed in solo first place with 47 points on top of the 13-club league standings. Ahli dropped to a 19-5 record with 43 points, temporarily putting them right behind Manama in second place.
In yesterday’s other game, Bahrain Club scored an 86-59 win over Al Hidd.
Bahrain Club raced out to a 25-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. They cruised the rest of the way, led by the 20 points of Khalid Ali, who also had nine rebounds and five assists.
Mahdi Ashoor had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Bahrain Club, while Ayoob Najaf had 12.
Hussain Lulu top scored for Hidd with 17 points while Abdulla Alromaihi had 13 off the bench.
Bahrain Club rose to a 7-17 record for 33 points while Hidd stayed near bottom with 22 losses and 26 points.
League action continues next week.