Manama rose to the top of the standings after a 107-62 win over Samaheej in a preliminary round game of the Zain Bahrain Basketball League last night.
Although they got off to a comfortable start by taking the first quarter of the game 27-11 at Zain Arena in Um Al Hassam, Manama were in for a rude shock in the second. Samaheej hit back to clinch the second quarter 27-18.
Coach Pedro Monteiro’s pep talk with the team during the interval worked and Manama came roaring back with a dominant show in the second half. They took the third quarter 38-11 and captured the fourth 24-13.
“We played well in the second half,” said coach Monteiro from Portugal, who took charge of Manama this season. “The second quarters’ outcome was not something we expected. We will do better in future games. We hope to continue our reign at the top.”
Christopher McKnight was the top scorer for the winners with 22 points which included a three-pointer. He also had four assists and eight rebounds.
The other scorers for Manama were Ahmed Aziz with 15 points, Mohamed Hussain with 14 and Mozamel Ameer and Ahmed Najaf with 13 each. Ameer had three three-pointers while Aziz and Hussain claimed two each.
Samaheej’s attack was led by Ahmed Fateel with 17 points. He was supported by Hussain Busafwan and Basel Adel with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
In the second game of the night, Al Hala fended off Bahrain Club’s challenge to seal a comfortable 91-66 victory.
Al Hala didn’t face many challenges in the first quarter and took it 25-14, but found themselves in troubled waters during the second and third. They managed to take the second 19-16 and led the first half 44-30.
Bahrain Club put up a better display in the third and tied it 21-21. Al Hala kept their cool and claimed the final quarter 25-14.
Coach Salah Ahmed Al Haddad was jubilant after the game, but his sights are firmly set on the top six.
“Our focus is on being a part of the top six. We have lost four games and hence the encounters ahead would be crucial,” said a confident Al Haddad. “We also hope to do well in the upcoming President’s Cup.”
Andre Washington, with 23, points, was the leading scorer for the winners while Lester Ferguson and Jalal Akbar led Bahrain Club with 16 and 15.