MANAMA crashed to a humbling 105-50 defeat to German club Telekom Baskets Bonn in their opening Group B game of the 2023 FIBA Intercontinental Cup in Singapore yesterday.
Telekom, the winners of the 2023 Basketball Champions League – the premier European professional competition for clubs launched by FIBA – were just too good for the Bahraini club, the champions of the inaugural West Asia Super League (WASL), who wilted under the sustained assault by the German side.
Sam Griesel, 23, Telekom’s 6’7” guard led the rout, scoring 28 points to go along with 10 rebounds and two assists in the game, as the German club roared to a 10-point lead, at 26-16, by the end of the first quarter, then extended it to a 28-point lead by half-time with the scoreboard reading 50-22.
Manama received no respite in the third quarter as Telekom, by now fully in their stride, netted an incredible 34 points to just 11 managed by the Bahraini club.
When the fourth and final quarter began, Telekom were ahead 84-33, leading by a massive 51 points, and looked like they meant to add another 30-odd points in the last 10 minutes of the game.
But, somehow, Manama managed to find some kind of rhythm and contained them to just 21 points while scoring 17 of their own. Sir’ Dominic Pointer did the bulk of the scoring for the Bahraini club with 14 points to go with two rebounds and four assists.
Manama will now play Zhejiang Golden Bulls, the China Basketball Association’s representatives for this tournament, in their second and final group game today. They will need to win this encounter by a big margin and hope that the Bulls defeat Telekom in order to have any hope of making it to Sunday’s final.
US side NBA G Team Ignite, representatives of the NBA G League; Egyptian club Al Ahly, winners of the 2023 Basketball Africa League and Brazilian team Sesi Franca, the champions of the 2022-23 Basketball Champions League Americas, are the teams in Group A.
Manama and Zhejiang Golden Bulls are the first Asian club sides to ever take part in the 33rd edition of the tournament, which features six teams for the first time, having previously been a four-team competition.