MUHARRAQ posted a narrow 79-71 victory over Al Ahli last night in the feature game of week two in the 2018/2019 Zain Bahrain Basketball League.
Muharraq used a decisive fourth quarter where they outscored Ahli 27-18 to take control of the contest and secure the hard-earned win.
Both teams were sporting special predominantly pink uniforms to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month – an initiative taken under the directives of Bahrain Basketball Association President Shaikh Isa bin Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.
In yesterday’s other game, Bahrain’s under-18 national team defeated Nuwaidrat 99-90.
Last night’s fixtures were played at Zain Arena in Um Al Hassam.
In Muharraq’s game, Ahli held a slim 20-18 lead at the end of the first quarter, which they extended marginally to 40-37 at the half-time break. In the third, a Marcel Jones lay-up with 15 seconds to go gave Ahli a 53-52 advantage, setting the stage for the final canto where Muharraq took over.
Ali Abbas buried a three-pointer to put Muharraq ahead 55-54, and after trading baskets, an 8-0 run capped by an Ahmed Hassan basket made it 62-56 with five minutes to go.
Ahli had one last rally that brought them within two, 68-70, with a minute-and-a-half left on the game clock, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the way and a Kadhem Majed three-pointer to make it 77-71 iced the game with 21 seconds to go.
Hassan led the victors with 27 points including five three-pointers, five rebounds and six assists. Majed added 16 markers with four triples, while Bader Abdulla Malabes scored 13 points. American professional Sean Williams contributed eight points and 18 rebounds.
Jones paced Ahli with 24 points and 18 rebounds, while Hesham Sarhan had 15 points and Jassim Abul 14.
The result was the second successive win for Muharraq to start to the new basketball season, while Ahli suffered their first loss.
In national under-18 team’s win, they raced out to a 25-17 lead at the end of the first quarter and did well to maintain their advantage all the way to the final buzzer, enjoying leads of up to 15 points in the process.
Mustafa Husain had a team-high 27 points while Rashid Ahmed contributed 24 points and nine rebounds. Big man Mozamel Ameer had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Ali Hussain had 14 points and seven rebounds.
Macedonian and Serbian professional Nenad Zivcevic tried valiantly to carry his team in the contest, exploding for 42 points and 20 rebounds. Hassan Abbas chipped in with 15 points in the loss.
League action continues next week.