*** ----> Al Ahli extend volleyball finals series | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Al Ahli extend volleyball finals series

TDT | Manama    

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Al Ahli have lived to fight another day in the championship series of the 2023/2024 Isa bin Rashid Bahrain Volleyball League.

Ahli posted a thrilling, come-from-behind 3-2 (19-25, 25-23, 25-27, 27-25, 20-18) win against defending champions Dar Kulaib in game two of the best-of-three finals, played at a jam-packed Isa bin Rashid Arena at Isa Sports City in Riffa.

The result kept their title hopes alive and sent this exciting head-to-head match-up to a decisive rubber match, scheduled for tomorrow at the same venue. In attendance for the contest were Bahrain Olympic Committee vice-president His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Bahrain Volleyball Association president Shaikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, and other high-ranking officials.

After Dar Kulaib drew first blood with a four-set victory in game one, they were determined to close things out in their return fixture. But Ahli had other plans. Brazilian professional Caio Oliveira was in impressive form in the game and helped Dar Kulaib take the early match advantage in the first set.

But Ahli fought back in the second and a double block from Ali Ebrahim and Hani Ali brought things back on level terms. In the third set, a Mohammed Yaqoob spike broke a 22-all deadlock and after both teams gave up set points, Dar Kulaib were able to go 2-1 up.

But Ahli stayed in the fight with a gritty fourth-set performance. Ali Ebrahim and Nasser Anan were their usual star players, while Sayed Mohammed Al Abrar gave them a key boost. Anan scored the decisive point that sent the match into the fifth set. There, Dar Kulaib were the early aggressors but Ahli put in a strong fight.

The two teams traded blows in a nail-biting finish, and then came up with the crucial plays in the end to secure the win. Ebrahim spearheaded Ahli with 26 big points, while Anan added 20, Ali contributed 13 and Al Abrar scored 10. For Dar Kulaib, Oliveira had a game-high 31 in the loss, while Mahmoud Abdulwahed and Yaqoob each scored 23.

Tomorrow’s contest will decide this season’s crown. Ahli are aiming for their sixth championship, with their last two being back-to-back triumphs for the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 seasons. Dar Kulaib are gunning for their fourth league title.