Al Rayyan retain basketball league title

 02 Mar 2016 - 0:00

Al Rayyan retain basketball league title
Al Rayyan team members celebrating the Qatar Basketball League (QBL) title at Al Gharafa Indoor Complex yesterday. The defending champions crushed Al Sadd 71-62 to take the championship.


DOHA:  Defending champions Al Rayyan yesterday crushed Al Sadd 71-62 to take the best-of-three series 2-0 and emerge as Qatar Basketball League (QBL) title winners for the second time in a row. 
Going into the second game with a 1-0 cushion, Al Rayyan fought back in the last two quarters and retained the title they won last season, thanks to high-scoring performances from Davon James Dominic and Ngombo Tanguy Alban. 
Dominic scored 25 points and managed 8 assists while Alban poured in 22 points. Alban also had 3 assists.
Coach Koufos Stergios stifled Al Sadd’s firepower with an all-round planning of attack and aggressive defense to seal a memorable win at Al Gharafa Indoor Hall. 
Al Rayyan veteran and captain Yaseen Musa said: “It is a well deserved win. We played against of the finest teams this season. Al Sadd provided us stiff resistance but we stuck it out.”
He added: “I think we knew we were on the way in the latter part of the (second) game and once we took the lead, we knew we had hold it together.”
For Al Rayyan, Abdulla Malek Salem scored 15 points and managed 2 assists while Hill Lawrence chipped in with 6 points.
Al Rayyan coach Stergios was quick to praise his team and officials of the club. 
“First of all i want to thank God. This is my second year and we have won the second title,” Stergios said. 
“It was a great performance. It was important for us to win this title since we played great. It wasn’t easy at all,” Stergios said. 
“This championship title is more difficult than the last one. We believe the players deserve all credit. They played amazingly well,” Stergios said. 
“I want to thank the president and top officials of the club and they gave us good support. We worked and played as family,” Stergios said before the prize distribution ceremony. 
“I don’t want to forget my captain Yaseen, He will retired after this season. He has been a tremendous player right throughout his career,” he said.
For Zoran Kreckovic-coached Al Sadd, Abdi Khalid Suliman, Saeed Erfan Ali, Kone Mohamed Deba and Raffa Anthony reached double figures. 
Suliman scored 16 points while Ali managed 15. 
Deba scored 14 points while Anthony contributed with a tally of 11. Anthony also had 4 assists.  
Al Rayyan and Al Sadd drew level in the first quarter 18-all but the defending champions slipped in the second when Al Sadd closed at 40-34. 
Howeverm Al Rayyan picked up their game in the third quarter, leading at 53-48 before winning the last at 71-61.
Qatar Basketball Federation (QBF) President Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrehman Al Thani presented Musa with the winner’s shield and medals at the prize distribution ceremony. 
Al Rayyan club officials were also present as the boys in red celebrated in style to close out the QBL season on a winning note. In the first game, Al Rayyan won handsomely 78-48. 
Al Rayyan club’s Vice President Rashid bin Nasser Al Khalifa said: “This is a well-deserving win for our club. Now we will celebrate this win and then start all over again. We want to win more trophies in the rest of the season. This is the best side and we will fight all over again in all competitions.”
Al Khalifa said: “I congratulate the players and the coaching staff for their hard work in our win. I also laud the efforts of the technical and administrative staff of QBF during the season.”The Peninsula