*** ----> Muharraq through to FIBA WASL Gulf play-offs | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Muharraq through to FIBA WASL Gulf play-offs

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Bahrain’s Muharraq Club booked their ticket last night to the play-off round in the Gulf sub-zone of the 2023/2024 FIBA West Asia Super League (WASL).

Muharraq secured their seat following a stunning 78-79 loss at the buzzer to Al Rayyan of Qatar in their final Group A game of the preliminary round, played at Zain Basketball Arena in Um Al Hassam.

After Ra’Shad James buried a three-pointer to give Muharraq a slim 78-76 lead with 14 seconds to play, Rayyan’s Mohamed Abdelkawy banked in his own triple at the buzzer to give the visitors the win.

The defeat put Muharraq in second place on their division table and they will now need to play a best-of-three elimination play-off against a to-be-determined opponent for a berth in the Gulf sub-zone semi-finals.

There are two Gulf groups in the FIBA WASL preliminaries, and the top teams advance directly to the semis, while the second and third seeds will face off for the other two spots. Muharraq will play either Shabab Al Ahli Dubai of the UAE or Kazma of Kuwait in their play-off.

Bahrain’s other team in this year’s FIBA WASL, reigning title holders Manama, have already secured their final four place as winners of Group B.

They play a final fixture today against Shabab Al Ahli at 7pm, while Kazma face winless Al Shamal of Qatar.

In last night’s game, Muharraq trailed 53-55 heading into the final period and stayed close in the closing stages.

Tyler Wilkerson then levelled the score at 75-all with a dunk and 46 seconds to go, and after a Mouhammad Faye free-throw for Rayyan, the stage was set for the game-ending triples of James and Abdelkawy.

Wilkerson had 24 points to pace Muharraq in the loss while James added 14.

Andrew Jackson White III led Rayyan with 21, while Faye had 17 and Abdelkawy 16.