*** ----> Manama through to WASL Gulf finals | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Manama through to WASL Gulf finals

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Manama have punched their tickets to the Gulf sub-zone finals in the 2023/2024 FIBA West Asia Super League (WASL).

The tournament’s defending champions secured their berth following a resounding 98-88 victory over fellow-Bahraini side Muharraq in game two of their best-of-three Gulf semis series, played at Khalifa Sports City Arena in Isa Town.

The result earned them a twogame sweep of their rivals and booked their place in the bestof-three finals, where they will face either Kuwait SC or Kazma, both from Kuwait.

“I want to congratulate my players and the whole organisation for being in the finals again of FIBA WASL-Gulf,” said Manama head coach Linos Gavriel.

“It’s an achievement we don’t take for granted just because of last year’s success. We’re proud of our hard work to reach the finals.

“About the game, Muharraq is a tough opponent...but we showed character. We made adjustments. We managed to be calm enough in order to be in the proper position to win the game.” Star big man Travin Thibodeaux added: “Credit and much respect to Muharraq. They had a good FIBA WASL season.

But we just had to come out and show the champion’s character.


“It’s a blessing to get back to the Gulf Final.

That’s one of our biggest goals, knowing that we lost last season.

We’re back and we’re ready to fight.” Despite losing last year’s Gulf sub-zone title, Manama were able to claim the overall FIBA WASL crown after winning in the Final Eight.

Aside from punching their return tickets to the Gulf finals, Manama have also ensured their spot in this year’s Final Eight.

Muharraq can still join them if they finish third in the region. The game for third place is currently scheduled to be held on April 22, while the Gulf finals will take place on April 23 and 29, and if needed, May 6.

The top three in the Gulf subzone will be joined in the FIBA WASL Final Eight by the best trio from the WASL West Asia sub-zone, along with the champion teams from South Asia and Central Asia.

There, they will all vie for the right to become cage kings of the region in the FIBA WASL’s second edition.

Manama led the entire game two and enjoyed advantages as big as 17 points.

They roared out of the gate for a 31-19 cushion at the end of the first quarter, which they extended to 56-45 at the half.

Manama stayed ahead 78-65 after three, and in the final canto staved off a late Muharraq rally, in which they got to within just two points, 88-90, with under two minutes left.

But baskets from Mohammed Ameer and Ali Hussain fuelled an 8-0 run with which Manama ended the contest.

Pointer led six Manama players in double figures with 25 points, while Hussain had 22 and Devin Eubanks scored 15 and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Bader Abdulla Malabe spaced Muharraq with 24 points while playing all 40 minutes. Ricky Ledo and Mohammed Juma’a added 15 apiece in the loss.