HOLDERS Manama take on Nuwaidrat while last year’s finalists Muharraq face bitter rivals Al Ahli in the first round of the 2019 Khalifa bin Salman Basketball Cup.
The draw for this prestigious event was held last night at the the Cultural Hall in presence of Bahrain Basketball Association (BBA) president Shaikh Isa bin Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. The draw was conducted by former retired basketball stars Ali Kanoo and Abdulmajeed Shahram.
The Manama and Muharraq games are on the opposite sides of the draw allowing for a possibility of a re-match of the 2018 Cup final between the two sides.
The two first round contests are scheduled for February 21. The winners advance directly to the semi-finals.
The other teams will have to go through two rounds before reaching the final four.
In other games of the opening stage, Al Ettihad battle Sitra and Bahrain Club lock horns with Isa Town on February 18. On February 20, Al Hala face Samaheej while Riffa take on Al Najma.
The winners play in the second round for a place in the semi-finals.
A bumper prize purse of BD45,000 is at stake with the champions receiving BD30,000 and the runners-up BD15,000.