TITLE hopefuls Muharraq and Al Ahli were both victorious last night in the 2018/2019 Zain Bahrain Basketball League.
Muharraq posted a resounding 103-83 victory over Nuwaidrat, while Al Ahli outclassed Al Hala 102-91. Both games were played at Zain Basketball Arena in Um Al Hassam, and they were a part of the ninth week of action.
Muharraq stayed undefeated as they used a strong fourth-quarter performance to blow open a close game and run away with the win.
Muharraq were ahead by just six, 74-68, as the teams headed into the fourth quarter, but in the final frame, the winners outscored their rivals 29-15 to close out the contest and ensure the result.
Muharraq had previously held a 54-43 cushion at the half, but Nuwaidrat were able to cut the deficit in the third and get back to within single digits.
Ali Abbas scored 19 points to lead a balanced Muharraq attack. Backcourt mate Bader Abdulla Malabes added 18 including four three-pointers, while Mohammed Hassan Aldurazi had 17 and Ahmed Hasssan Aldurazi finished with 12.
American professional and former NBA player Sean Williams had an all-around effort of nine points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots.
Hassan Abbas paced Nuwaidrat with 24 points and eight rebounds.
The result earned Muharraq their ninth win in as many games as they strengthened their hold on first place on the league standings. For Nuwaidrat, they suffred their seventh loss in eight games.
Meanwhile, Ahli stayed red hot with their impressive win over Al Hala.
After a close opening half that ended with Ahli holding a slim 49-48 advantage, the winners turned things up in the third and were able to build a 75-64 lead heading into the final frame. There, they did just enough to maintain the gap claim their seventh win in eight tries.
Hesham Sarhan was on fire in the contest, pouring in a game-high 37 points including a near-perfect 11-for-12 from the charity stripe. American import Marcel Jones added 27 points and 16 rebounds, while Ahmed Mutawa scored 18 markers.
For Hala, Hasan Gerashi scored 25 points while Jalen Robinson from the US had 24 points and 14 rebounds. Ahmed Jamal chipped in with 20, including four three-pointers.
Hala suffered their fifth loss of the season to go along with just three victories.
League action continues tonight with another two games on the cards. At 5.45pm, Isa Town take on Sitra, to be followed at 7.45pm by national champions Manama facing off with Riffa in the Game of the Week.