Team Pilipinas-Social Café, Jeddah United advance; Syriana IKK stuns Lebanese

1 / 2
Team Pilipinas-Social Cafe poses for a group picture.
2 / 2
Syriana IKK basketball team. (AN photos)
Updated 10 May 2017
0

Team Pilipinas-Social Café, Jeddah United advance; Syriana IKK stuns Lebanese

JEDDAH: Defending champion Team Pilipinas-Social Café guaranteed itself a place in the semifinals along with Jeddah United but the Syriana IKK’s stunning victory over fancied Lebanese community basketball team shook up the race for the remaining two berths entering this weekend’s final week of eliminations in the 2nd Open Intercultural Basketball Tournament.
Team Pilipinas of coach Francis Odinar Magat recovered from an 82-69 defeat by the Lebanese to start its campaign, and now sits on a 3-1 win-loss record next to Jeddah United’s clean 4-0 card.
Friday, the Filipinos won by default over the Saudi community team that followed their decisive 66-50 victory over Egypt on Thursday in back-to-back wins that sealed their final four spot in the tournament at the spanking new Jeddah United basketball court in Al-Shati district here.
Also Thursday, Jeddah United had to dig deep into its arsenal to beat unpredictable Saudis 73-67 that gave coach Naoufal Uariachi’s squad that 4-0 record that included JU’s 64-62 win over the Lebanese in a classic of a game that could have gone either way during the second week of eliminations.
Samy Uariachi hit the game winner for Jeddah United after a miss by the Lebanese with four seconds to play. The defeat upset the momentum of the Lebanese who had beaten the Saudis 85-71 the night before.
The Lebanese were holding a 2-1 record at the start of their game against Syriana Friday. Despite the loss against JU the Lebanese team coached by Mohammed Bunni were heavy favorites against the winless Syriana of coach Hassan Zeineddein.
But on this night Syriana was not to be denied and hammered out an emotional 66-50 victory over a Lebanese side that could not seem to get going especially its 1-2 punch of American import Muhammad Abdulaleem and point guard Ahmad Kheir.
Zeineddein and his boys surprised the enemy with heads-up basketball all night long.
Syriana’s Filipino import Lisztian Amparado played like there was no tomorrow mocking the Lebanese defense to spark an 11-0 run to start the second quarter for a 23-10 Syriana lead.
Syriana built a 21-point lead at 47-36 at the end of the third quarter and then never allowed the Lebanese to come close with a smothering defense the rest of the way. Khermo and Ahmad Khorbatly, among others, were also particularly outstanding as Syriana hardly felt the absence of American David Patrick.
The final elimination round games pit the Saudi team against Syriana in the second game at 10 p.m. Thursday with the Pilipinas sponsored by Social Café courtesy of Abdullah Zahrani taking on Jeddah United in the first game at 8 p.m.
On Friday it will be the Lebanese against Egypt in a lone game at 7 p.m.
Whatever happens in the rest of the concluding games the worst that could happen to the Filipinos is to finish No. 3 for the semis. Jeddah United would go down to No. 1 if it lost against the Filipinos.
Syriana is not in control of its fate, facing a must-win against the Saudis and hoping Egypt beats Lebanese on Friday.
The Lebanese simply have to win against Egypt to qualify as No. 3. A combination of Syriana and Egypt victories would result in a 2-3 tie between Syriana and Lebanese in which case Syriana goes in as No. 4 by virtue of the winner over the other rule to apply in the tiebreak.
This Intercultural basketball event is only in its second year and yet it has generated a lot of interest in the community thanks to Event Manager Mohammad Shobain, Consultant-adviser Mohamed Bayoumi and Obaid Madani who helped facilitate the use of the Jeddah United sports complex. Also in the committee running the event is Ahmed Helmi, head referee of the Saudi Basketball Federation. Young Farhan Sopero, a discovery of Bayoumi, does the play-by-play account of the games.


Joe Root ton puts England on top against Sri Lanka

Updated 17 November 2018
0

Joe Root ton puts England on top against Sri Lanka

KANDY: Captain Joe Root smashed 124 and newcomer Ben Foakes again hit valuable tail end runs to put England in command of the second Test against Sri Lanka on Friday.
England reached 324 for nine — a second innings lead of 278 — when bad light stopped play for the day in Kandy.
Foakes was batting on 51 alongside James Anderson on four.
Spinner Akila Danajanya, whose action is under investigation by the International Cricket Council, claimed six wickets on the turning pitch.
He trapped Root lbw and then bowled Sam Curran for nought with his next ball. Adil Rashid thwarted the hat-trick but soon fell to Dananjaya’s guile for two.
It was his third five wicket haul in just his fifth Test for Dananjaya, who must rush off to Australia after the game for an ICC examination of his bowling.
He however could not stop Root and Foakes swinging the game.
Root reached his 15th Test ton soon after tea, making the sweep and reverse sweep valuable weapons, as he hit 10 fours and two sixes in his 146-ball knock.
Root said he enjoyed making the runs despite the pressure.
“That’s what it should be. You shouldn’t feel pressure like the pressure is too much for you, you should enjoy the occasion and make the most of the opportunity in front of you,” he said after the day’s play.
“The whole group managed to harness that today and make the most of it.”
Root raised his bat to a standing ovation from traveling English fans who also lauded Foakes.
Root made an 82-run seventh wicket stand with Foakes, who reached his fifty with a six off Dilruwan Perera. The hit turned out to be the last ball of the day with dark clouds gathering and thunder heard in the distance.
As he did in his sparkling century on Test debut in the opening game of the series, Foakes mixed caution and aggression to push up the England score.
Every one of England’s top seven batsmen were out attempting a sweep of some description.
Jos Buttler dragged one of Dananjaya’s deliveries onto his stumps while trying to reverse sweep on 34. Moeen Ali was trapped lbw for 10 after failing to connect with an attempted sweep.
“From my point of view, it was almost a safer shot than playing the forward defensive,” said Root.
“With the amount the ball was turning there’s a lot of risk involved in that. At times attack is the best form of defense on a wicket like that.”
Earlier, left-hander Rory Burns registered his maiden Test half-century in just his second match. He was trapped lbw off Malinda Pushpakumara for 59.
Burns then put together 73 runs for the second wicket with Keaton Jennings, who made 26, to steady the innings and help England overcome their 46-run deficit.
“I think the temptation with a deficit like that going into the second innings is to play within your shell and be a bit insular but the guys went out and set the tone at top of the order,” said Root.
“It was really pleasing to see inexperienced guys as Test cricketers really set the benchmark for the rest of the group, a really good platform for us.
“Hopefully we still stretch the lead further and that should be a good chase on this surface.”