CHAMPIONS Manama posted a hard-earned 87-82 victory over Al Hala last night in the 2018-2019 Zain Bahrain Basketball League.
Samaheej followed suit, scoring their maiden victory of the season with a 96-87 result over Bahrain’s under-18 national team.
Both games were played at Zain Basketball Arena in Um Al Hassam as part of the 12th week of action.
Hala did well to stand toe-to-toe with their heavily favoured opponents in the opening half.
Manama were ahead by just two, 26-24, at the end of the first quarter and their advantage remained unchanged at the break, 44-42.
In the third, however, Manama managed to create some breathing room as they stretched their lead to 65-58 heading into the final canto.
But Hala were still able to make things interesting in the fourth, when they managed to crawl back to within four points, 79-83, on a Mahmood Aziz lay-up with 29 seconds to play.
It was a little too late, however, as Manama’s Mohammed Ameer and Ahmed Abdulaziz were able to ice the win from the free-throw line.
American import Wayne Chism had an outstanding game for Manama, scoring 27 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out seven assists. Ameer added 21 while Maytham Jameel had 15.
Hussain Salman paced Hala with a game-high 35 points. He buried an impressive six three-pointers in the game and also had five assists. Newly signed British-Jamaican big man Ryan Richards added 21 and 12 rebounds for Hala.
In last night’s other game, American professional Mark Cornelius scored 37 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in Samaheej’s stunning win. Hussain Busafwan added 26.
Mustafa Hussain led Bahrain’s youngsters with 28 markers including seven rebounds and four steals, while Ali Jaber scored 16 and Nawaf Nabeel 15.