BAHRAIN signed off from hosting its first-ever international basketball championship with a disappointing 66-89 loss to Lebanon early this morning at Zain Basketball Arena in Um Al Hassam.
The Bahrainis started the game strong but allowed the Lebanese to blow things up in the third quarter, during which they were outscored by 20 points.
The defeat was their second in three games in the tournament. They had earlier won against Iraq in their opening fixture before bowing to Egypt in their second assignment.
The Egyptians were also winners yesterday, narrowly beating their Iraqi counterparts 56-49 to complete the competition as the only undefeated side.
This four-nation championship took place under the directives of Bahrain Basketball Association (BBA) president Shaikh Isa bin Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, whose aim was to raise the level of the national team by playing high-ranking squads from across the globe.
The Bahrainis also used this event as part of their preparations for their upcoming games in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Pre-Qualifiers, to be held next month in Dubai.
In Bahrain’s loss yesterday, the nationals were tied with their visiting counterparts at 16-apiece after the first quarter, but then the Lebanese went ahead 39-33 at the half.
In the third, it was all Lebanon and Bahrain had no answer. By the end of the period, the home side had dug themselves into a 47-73 hole and could not climb out. Their rivals cruised the rest of the way.
Bader Abdulla Malabes had 15 points to lead the Bahrainis while Subah Hussain chipped in with 10. They were the only two Bahraini players in double figures.
Elias Rustom led a balanced attack with 19 for Lebanon, who won two of their three games. Bassel Bawji added 15, Amir Saoud 12 and Elie Chamoun 11.
In last night’s earlier scheduled contest, the Egyptians had a rough start and trailed heavily at 4-15 at the end of the first quarter. But they turned things around right before the half, scoring 18 while holding Iraq to just a miserable two markers the entire second period.
In the third, Egypt managed to extend their lead in the low-scoring contest to a 39-29 advantage with one quarter to play. Both teams tried to finish the game strong but it was Egypt who managed to stay in control until the final buzzer.
Ibrahim Rajab top scored for the winners with 15 points while Yousif Wael and Abdulfadheel Ebrahim each contributed 11 markers.
For Iraq, Ali Moayyed was the top man with 17 points while Taimoor Johansen was their only other player in double-figures.