*** ----> Bahrainis bow to dominant Lebanon | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrainis bow to dominant Lebanon

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Bahrain suffered a tough 63-94 defeat to continental powerhouses Lebanon last night in the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers.

The game was their second in Group F and it was played at Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut.

The result followed an opening victory against the UAE in their first qualifier that was played at home last week.

The Bahrainis are also set to face Syria in their pool, but the two teams will only meet for the first time in November.

The Syrians were 78-63 winners against the Emiratis in yesterday’s other divisional fixture, played in Dubai.

Like Bahrain, Syria have one win and one loss in their two outings thus far.

After a closely fought firsthalf, at the end of which Bahrain faced a narrow 33-39 deficit, they let the game get away from them in a one-sided third quarter, where the hosts outscored them by 16 points, 29-13.

The nationals thus faced a significant 46-68 hole heading into the final canto, and they never recovered.

There, the Lebanese took their biggest lead of the contest of 38 points.

Point guard Mustafa Hussain finished as Bahrain’s leading scorer with 18 points, while Ali Jaber added 12 and Wayne Chism finished with 11 to go with 13 rebounds.

The nationals were held to just 21-of-67 shooting from the field for a 31 per- cent clip, while Lebanon went 36-for-76 for 47 per cent.

Superstar court general Wael Arakji was the leading scorer for the Lebanese with 20 points. He also had six assists while committing zero turnovers.

Hayk Gyokchyan added 16 and seven rebounds in the win, while Ali Mansour had 13. Gerard Hadidian contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds for Lebanon.

There are 24 participating nationals teams divided into six groups of four nations each for this first stage of qualification.

These squads will vie for 16 places at the final tournament. Games are being played over three windows.

The next is scheduled for November, and then the last in February of 2025.

The top two teams of each group qualify for the FIBA Asia Cup 2025, while the six thirdplaced teams will play another qualifying tournament for the final four places.

Group A includes Thailand, Australia, South Korea and Indonesia. Group B features Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, the Philippines and New Zealand; while Group C comprises China, Guam, Japan and Mongolia.

In Group D are Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Saudi Arabia; and Group E are Iran, Kazakhstan, India and Qatar.

The FIBA Asia Cup is the continent’s premier basketball tournament, including teams from FIBA Asia as well as from FIBA Oceania.

Australia are the two-time defending champions. Bahrain are looking to qualify for the event for the 10th time.