BAHRAIN missed out on the bronze medal last night in the 23rd Arab Men’s Basketball Championship in Cairo losing to hosts Egypt 72-84 in the game for third place.
The gold medal was claimed by Saudi Arabia, who beat Algeria 85-81 in the final. The UAE finished last.
Bahrain, coached by Salman Ramadhan, opted to field a new-look line-up yesterday with no players above the age of 30 and four of them from the under-18 junior national team.
Bahrain started strongly with a resounding win over Saudi in their opening game and followed it with a defeat to Egypt and a victory over Algeria before losing to the UAE.
The Bahrainis qualified for the semi-finals, but lost to their Algerian counterparts.
Egypt held a narrow 23-19 lead at the end of the first quarter, which they turned to 48-40 at the halfway following back-to-back three-pointers from guard Ahmed Gazar.
In the third, the Egyptians continued from where they left off and built a comfortable 56-40 lead. They stayed ahead 71-58 heading into the final canto.
Egypt remained in control for much of the last 10 minutes, although Bahrain went on one final surge to try and make it close in the end.
Talented 16-year-old guard Mustafa Hussain spearheaded the rally. He buried a pair of back-to-back triples from the right wing to bring the Bahrainis back to within six, 67-73, with plenty of time still remaining in the game.
Unfortunately, they could not get any closer despite having the opportunities to cut the deficit further.
Bahrain’s Ahmed Hassan made a three-pointer just before the final buzzer to peg the final score.
Hassan finished top scorer with 19 points, including four three-pointers. Naturalised big man Wayne Chism added 14 and Hussain had 12 including three triples. Mohammed Ameer scored 11, Mohammed Buallay six, Ahmed Abdulaziz five while Mozamel Ameer and Mohammed Kuwayed each scored two points.
Ibrahim Elgammal was the top scorer for Egypt with 19 points.