Manama rout Qatar’s Al Shamal
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain’s Manama Club romped past Al Shamal of Qatar 108-71 last night in the 2023/2024 FIBA West Asian Super League (WASL). The game was played at Zain Basketball Arena in Um Al Hassam and it was Manama’s second fixture in Group B of the Gulf sub-zone in the WASL preliminary round.
The defending champions were in control from the very start and took leads as big as 38 points. They thus stayed undefeated so far as they continue their quest to repeat as WASL title-winners. Ahmed Salman top scored for Manama with 24 points, including a red-hot six three-pointers.
Travin Thibodeaux added 20 and nine rebounds, while Mustafa Hussain had 19 and five triples. Tony Farmer chipped in with 17 in the win, and Sir’Dominic Pointer had 11. Tyler James Lee Haris was Shamal’s leading scorer with 20, while Uche Iroegbu added 18 in the loss.0
Manama raced out to a 26-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, and then stayed ahead 44- 30 at the break. After three, the Bahrainis had extended their advantage to 71-44, and then they cruised in the final canto to close out the big win.
Manama and Shamal are in the same pool as Shabab Al Ahli of Dubai and Kazma of Kuwait. The Bahraini national champions return to action in two weeks’ time when they face Shabab Al Ahli on 18 December in the UAE, and then take on Kazma in Kuwait City on 15 January next year.
They then face off once again with Shamal in Doha on 5 February, and then complete this phase of the tournament against Shabab Al Ahli at home on 13 February. Manama are joined in this year’s FIBA WASL competition by fellow-Bahraini outfit Muharraq, who are in Group A of the preliminary round.
Muharraq are competing alongside Kuwait Sporting Club of Kuwait, Al Rayyan of Qatar and Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia. Muharraq have won one of their first two games and are back in action on Tuesday next week when they take on Rayyan in Doha. That is their third group game.
They then play Kuwait in Kuwait City on 8 January next year, face Ahli in Jeddah on 30 January and then complete this stage at home against Rayyan on 12 February. The competition format for the second season of the FIBA WASL remains the same. The three best teams at the end of the WASL Gulf sub-zone and the WASL West Asia sub-zone leagues earn their tickets to the Final Eight.
There, they will be joined by the champion teams from South Asia and Central Asia, and they will all vie for the right to become cage kings of the region. Prior to the Final Eight, each sub-zone league will feature two groups of four teams, with the top seeds by the end of the round-robin opening phase directly qualifying to the best-of-three semi-finals. The second and third-ranked teams will play for the other final four berths, also in a best-of-three.