Umar Abdul Salam, Arab News
Published — Tuesday 4 March 2008
Last Update 4 March 2008 3:00 am
JEDDAH, 4 March 2008 — Ahli’s new import players dominated the game scoring more than half the total points in Thursday night’s 101-94 overtime victory against Nahda in the Saudi Basketball Federation AlJawal Tournament at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Sports complex here.
The game was littered with plenty of turnovers on both sides. Neither team played good defense in the paint. The score went back and forth and at the end of the third period, the teams were deadlocked at 70-70.
With under two minutes left in the game, one of the referees blew the whistle and motioned a foul against Nahda. Ahli stopped play and Nahda picked up the ball and ran the floor making an easy basket and taking the lead.
The ruling went in favor of Nahda and with only seconds on the clock Ahli’s Fawaz Mohammad sunk a long shot that the ref ruled a two-point shot as time ran out with the score at 86-all, forcing overtime.
Ahli broke the game open in the overtime period with back-to-back three-pointers by Othman Mohammed and good foul shooting in the last seconds.
Ahli’s import Joe Web led all scores with 40 points and Antoine Tesbi had 26. Nahda’s imports Derric Jones and Gentry Lewis both scored more than 20 but couldn’t stop Ahli by themselves.
In the second game, Al-Ittihad played Qadisia without the help of their import player Mahmood Abdul Rauf and no center, who was just released.
No problem. Ittihad’s new coach Guillermo Vecchio from South America made the difference, and has the team playing together in the 90-77 victory.
Ittihad went up by 10 in the second half and kept the lead. Ittihad had their first five in double figures. Ali Mugrabi led the way with 32 points and 22 rebounds, Adel Al Mowaled had 17 points, Adel Al Johani 16 points, Fahad Al Jerasi 12 points, and Jaber Al Kabri 10.
Qadisia’s Ahmed Samenta finished with 19 points, Wageeb El Awad hit 6 three-pointers and finished with 22 points, import player Akeem Wright had 16, and Ali Easa 10.