BAHRAIN’S under-19 national team routed Al Najma 107-67 while Bahrain Club edged past Isa Town 84-74 last night in the 2018/2019 Zain Bahrain Basketball League.
Both games were a part of the seventh week of action in the new season and they both had outstanding individual performances. They were played at Zain Basketball Arena in Um Al Hassam.
The under-19 nationals were spearheaded by the exceptional performance of guard Mustafa Hussain, who fired in 39 big points including a red hot six three-pointers.
They used a lopsided third quarter to take control of a close game. They led 23-16 after the first quarter and then 51-46 at the break. But in the third, they outscored Najma 33-6 and never looked back, closing out the win with a solid fourth period.
The young nationals enjoyed leads of up to 41 points in the contest.
Hussain’s high-scoring showcase also included six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Rashid Ahmed chipped in with 17 markers, seven rebounds and five assists while Mozamel Ameer also had a good all-around effort with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assits and six steals.
On the other end, Hussain Mohammed was Najma’s top scorer with 17 and eight rebounds while Fadalallah Abbas scored 12.
In yesterday’s other game, Bahrain Club’s American professional Lester Ferguson erupted for 40 points, as did Isa Town’s Bahraini guard Ahmed Salman, but in the end it was Ferguson and his crew who claimed the win.
They were the early aggressors and they did just enough to hold on to their advantage until the end, despite a rough finish to their game.
Bahrain Club went ahead 17-13 at the end of the first quarter and then added to that by the half, going up 36-29. The victors then did well to stretch their advantage even further with a strong third quarter where they outscored Isa Town by 10 and took a commanding 67-50 lead.
In the fourth, Isa Town tried valiantly to fight back and managed to chip away at the deficit, but it was too late and Bahrain Club were able to escape with the victory.
Ferguson’s 40-point effort was accompanied by a dominant 25-rebound haul. He was also near-perfect from the free-throw line, taking 18 charity shots and missing just once.
Fadhel Abbas added 13 in the win while Ayoob Najaf had 12.
Salman was exceptional for Isa Town in the loss, going for 40 while grabbing six rebounds and registering three steals.
He received little help from elsewhere, however, as Jalal Akbar added 10 markers as their only other player in double figures.
League action continues tonight with Al Ettihad taking on Samaheej at 5.45pm, followed by a titanic duel between fellow-title hopefuls Muharraq and Riffa. That is the Game of the Week, and it will tip off at 7.45pm.