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.


Afghanistan claim first Test win with victory over Ireland

Updated 16 min 10 sec ago
0

Afghanistan claim first Test win with victory over Ireland

  • Asghar Afghan's men beat Irish by seven wickets in only their second Test.
  • Rahmat Shah's second half century eases side over the 147-run target

Afghanistan notched a historic maiden win in only its second Test match when it defeated Ireland by seven wickets in the one-off Test.
Needing 118 runs, Rahmat Shah scored his second half century of the match and Ihsanullah Janat made 50 in his debut test as Afghanistan reached 149 for three just before lunch on the fourth day.
“It was our dream to play test cricket and today we won a test match so I am very happy for Afghanistan and its people,” Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan said.
“I want to give credit to the bowlers, especially Rashid Khan, Waqar (Salamkheil), Yamin (Ahmadzai) and (Mohammad) Nabi because the wicket was good for batting.”
Leg spinner Rashid claimed the match haul of seven for 102 and played the Test match while nursing his injured spinning finger.
It was only the second test match for both countries since gaining test status in 2017. Afghanistan lost its inaugural test against India last year before Pakistan went on to beat Ireland.
Man-of-the-match Shah, who missed out on the century in the first innings before falling for 98, played another splendid knock of 76 with 13 fours before he got stumped when Afghanistan required only three runs for victory.
Janat was equally good in scoring an unbeaten 65 off 129 balls as both batsmen dominated Ireland bowling with attacking shots during their 139-run match-winning stand.
Ireland had an early opportunity to break the stand but Shah was dropped on 19 by Stuart Thompson in left-arm spinner George Dockrell’s second over of the day after Afghanistan resumed on 29-1.
Although Mohammad Nabi missing Afghanistan’s winning moment on the field when he got run out, Hashmatullah Shahidi got the winning runs when he pulled James Cameron-Dow to the square leg fence off his first delivery.
Ireland captain William Porterfield saw his team’s first-innings effort of 172 as the prime reason for the defeat as Afghanistan replied strongly with 314.
“In any multi-day game, we had to capitalize on the first innings. If we’d done how we’d done in the second innings then, it could have been a completely different game,” Porterfield said.
Ireland fought back in the second innings by scoring 288, thanks largely to the last-wicket half century stand between Cameron-Dow and Tim Murtagh that set up Afghanistan’s target of 147 runs.
“Credit to Afghanistan, they outplayed us ... and once Afghanistan got past us in the first innings, it was always going to be hard,” Porterfield said.