Samaheej bounced back from a 14-point deficit in the first half to pull off a thrilling four-point victory over Bahrain Club in a Group ‘B’ game of the Bahrain Basketball Association Cup at Zain Arena in Um Al Hassam last night.
Bahrain Club frittered away the considerable advantage they had secured in the first half as Samaheej, led by Antwan Wilkerson and Hussain Busafwan, made a spirited charge in the second half to grab a narrow 77-73 win.
The first quarter seemed to set the tone for the game as Bahrain Club raced ahead 29-18.
The first point in the second quarter was scored after three minutes when Fadhel Abbas managed to sink a free throw to get Bahrain Club going. They went on to score 13 more points in the quarter to lead 43-29 at half-time.
Samaheej slashed the lead by four points in the third quarter before launching a massive onslaught in the final canto.
Bahrain Club’s lead melted into single-digit as their scoring attempts went awry and they were eventually knocked down by their opponents who held their nerves to secure a memorable win.
Wilkerson, with 28 points, was the top scorer for the winners while Busafwan contributed 21.
adhel Abbas was the leading scorer for Bahrain Club with 19 points.
In the other Group B game, played earlier yesterday, Manama eased past Isa Town 118-61.
Manama made a rapid start leaving Isa Town far behind at 21-6. Isa Town could only take 11 more points in the quarter while Manama plundered 33 with Christopher McKnight scoring 13 before he was withdrawn.
The gap in the scores widened in the second quarter as Isa Town added just three points in the first three minutes and five more after the sixth minute to give their opponents a 28-point lead at half-time.
Manama slipped momentarily in the second half after McKnight was withdrawn again to give younger players a chance. They struggled to score and could only manage eight points in the last five minutes of the third quarter.
Manama made amends for the aberration by scoring 34 points in the final quarter.
When asked by the GDN after the match if Manama were relying too much on McKnight, coach Pedro Monteiro said, “Yes, we rely on him a lot since he’s our most important player. There’s nothing wrong about it.”
Monteiro was also candid about the regular substitutions he makes during games.
“I use all my players in every game. I want each one of them to feel important,” he smiled.
McKnight scored 30 points for Manama. Mohammed Hussain (18), Husain Shaker (15) and Hasan Nowrooz (13) were the other main scorers for the winners. Mohamed Nabeel powered Isa Town with 18 points.
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