Zhejiang Golden Bulls were given a fright by a battling Manama side but managed to hold on for a 95-78 win yesterday in a Group B game of the 2023 Fiba Intercontinental Cup in Singapore.
Manama’s second successive defeat – they went down 105-50 to German club Telekom Baskets Bonn in their opening game on Thursday – in the preliminary round means that they are out of the running for a place in tomorrow’s final and will now face the team finishing third in Group A in a third-place play-off which will take place before the final.
The Bulls started strongly, leading 23-15 at the end of the first quarter, but Manama fought back strongly in the second, scoring 22 points to the Bull’s 23 but the Chinese side still had an eight-point lead at half-time.
It was the third quarter that dented Manama’s hopes as the Bull’s amassed 32 points with the Bahraini club managing only 21 which meant that the Chinese side entered the fourth and final quarter, leading by 20 points, at 78-58.
With everything to play for, Manama turned on the heat in the final 10 minutes but, even though they outscored the Bulls for the first time in the game as they netted 20 points to their opponents’ 17, it was not nearly enough to take them to victory.
Manama, the champions of the inaugural 2022-23 West Asia Super League (WASL), and the Bulls, pre-selected as the China Basketball Association’s (CBA) representatives, are the first Asian sides to take part in this year’s edition of the Intercontinental Cup which features six teams for the first time.
US side NBA G Team Ignite, pre-selected as representatives of the NBA G League; Egyptian club Al Ahly, winners of the 2023 Basketball Africa League (BAL) and Brazilian team Sesi Franca, the champions of the 2022-23 Basketball Champions League (BCL) Americas, are the three teams in Group A.