A REINFORCED Muharraq side flew the Bahrain flag high last night as they claimed a resounding 67-63 victory over the visiting Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the final game of the ninth Bahrain-Philippines Goodwill Basketball Games.
Point guard Ahmed Hassan Aldurazi came up big for the home side with some crucial baskets in the game’s closing moments.
His two free-throws gave them the lead for good at 59-57 late in the fourth quarter, and then he later buried a back-breaking three-pointer with just 18.7 seconds to play for a 67-61 lead.
The result made it two wins in as many games for Bahrain’s top two basketball clubs in this year’s edition of the event.
On Thursday night, national champions Manama had made history, becoming the first-ever Bahraini side to beat a visiting professional team from the Philippine Basketball Association.
Present at yesterday’s contest were Bahrain Basketball Association (BBA) president Shaikh Isa bin Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and Philippine Ambassador Alfonso Ver. Other BBA officials were also on hand.
Aldurazi ended the night as the game’s leading scorer. He had 22 points, while American professional Lester Ferguson added 15 and Bader Abdulla Malabes had 14. CJ Giles, also from the US, chipped in with 11.
Ed Daquioag paced the Elasto Painters with 16 in defeat. Raymond Almazan added 13. Superstar players James Yap and Beau Belga were held to seven and six points, respectively.
Muharraq started the game strong and quickly took a 14-1 lead early in the first period. The Elasto Painters, however, came roaring back and took a 35-29 advantage into the half.
Muharraq turned things up in the third period and had a slim 51-49 advantage heading into the final canto, paving the way for the tense final minutes of the game and Aldurazi’s heroics.
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s preliminary contests, Barangay Mahooz claimed the Inter-Barangay League title after defeating Barangay Muharraq 78-77 in overtime, and the Riffa Club women’s squad beat the PhiBah Warriors 67-31.
The ninth Bahrain-Philippines Goodwill Basketball Games 2019 were organised by The Hooperz Sport Events in cooperation with members of the Filipino community, the BBA and Nestlé Bahrain Trading. The event was held under the patronage of Shaikh Isa bin Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.
The Goodwill Games were powered by Houras Services and Consultants, Amour de Paris Perfumes, Filinvest, UAE Exchange, Forex Cargo and Zain Bahrain. They were supported by FCBG, Strictly Social.BH, BonChon, David’s Stir Fry Crazy, Jollibee, Bahay Kubo, Filipino-American Association, The K Hotel, Arwa, Trans World Travel, Print Mania, Bahrain International Karting Circuit and Track Top Adventure.