*** ----> Manama take semis advantage | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Manama take semis advantage

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Manama took an all-important one -game advantage against long-time rivals Muharraq in their best-of-three Gulf subzone semi-final series in the 2023/2024 FIBA West Asia Super League (WASL).

The defending FIBA WASL champions triumphed in game one of the all-Bahraini clash 86-78 at the Khalifa Sports City Arena in Isa Town. Ahmed Salman and Sir’Dominic Pointer combined for 41 points to spearhead the victors in the contest.

They were in control the entire game and enjoyed leads as big as 16 points. Manama will now be looking to close out this semi-final series and book a return ticket to the Gulf sub-zone finals when the pair meet in game two, scheduled for Tuesday next week.

Muharraq, on the other hand, will be looking to extend their clash to a winner-take-all third game, which would be held, if needed, on 17 April.

The winner of this head-tohead will face the victors from the other Gulf sub-zone semi-finals, which is an all-Kuwaiti affair between Kuwait SC and Kazma. In Manama’s game one victory, they led 26-18 at the end of the first period and then extended their advantage to 50-35 at the break.

Muharraq began to fight back in the third but could only close the gap to 54-68 with one quarter to play.


In the final frame, Muharraq put in a gritty effort and got to within six points, 77-83, on a Ricky Ledo free-throw with just under two minutes remaining.

But that was the closest they got, and Pointer virtually iced the game with two free-throws that made it 86-78 with only 23 seconds to play.

Salman had 21 for Manama including a red-hot five triples, while Pointer added 20 while also taking down 14 rebounds and dishing out eight assists to nearly post a triple-double.

Travin Thibodeaux scored 16 while Devin Eubanks added 11 for Manama in the win. Tyler Wilkerson paced Muharraq in the loss with 24 points while Ledo had 18 and 12 boards. Bader Abdulla Malabes was their only other player in double figures with 11.

This is the second season of the FIBA WASL. Manama are looking to defend their crown, while Muharraq, who are making their tournament debut, are aiming for their first title.

The top three from the Gulf sub-zone will move on to play in the FIBA WASL Final Eight.

There, they will be joined by the top three from the West Asia sub-zone, and the champion teams from South Asia and Central Asia. They will all vie for the right to become cage kings of the region.