Najma make winning start in Asian clubs handball
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain’s Al Najma made a resounding start last night to their title-defence in the 26th Asian Men’s Club League Championship, which got underway in Kuwait City.
The competition’s reigning champions routed Golden Eagle from India 42-21 in their opening Group A game of the preliminary round.
Najma raced out to a quick lead in the first half and were comfortably ahead 22-9 at the break.
They continued to roll in the final 30 minutes of play to claim the big first win.
Najma are in the same pool as Al Khaleej of Saudi Arabia, Al Gharafa of Qatar, Kuwait Sporting Club of Kuwait and Golden Eagle.
Al Salah of Palestine were also set to take part, but have withdrawn.
Group B is composed of Al Qadsiya of Kuwait, Sai of India, Al Arabi of Qatar, Al Jaish of Iraq, Shabab Saida of Lebanon and Al Sharjah of the UAE.
In another Group A game yesterday, Khaleej edged past Gharafa 28-27 in a tightly contested affair.
Najma return to action against Khaleej on Monday at 8pm, Bahrain time, and then face off with Gharafa on Wednesday at 6pm.
Najma complete their preliminary round schedule on Friday against Kuwait Sporting SC, also with an 8pm start.
Following a rest day on Saturday next week, the top two from each group move on to the semi-finals on 26 November.
The gold and bronze medal matches are then set for 27 November.
Najma won the title in the previous edition of the championship held earlier this year in Isfahan, Iran.
They defeated Al Duhail of Qatar 31-30 in a game that went into double overtime.
Najma claimed only their second gold medals in the history of the competition.