By Danotzki Santos
Doha: Al Arabi banked on the heroics of William Byrd to mastermind a 65-64 win over Al Gharafa in the main game last night of the Qatar Basketball League at the Al Rayyan Indoor Arena.
Byrd pulled his team back from a 45-55 deficit igniting a 12-2 run in the match.
Al Arabi led the half at 36-29 but fell into early foul trouble.
Coach Kouusay Hatem then mounted a running offensive after the break that enabled his team to grab the lead 47- 43 at the end of the third quarter.
The result moves Al Arabi to the top of the standings with 3-0 win-loss card. Al Sadd are also top of the standings.
It is the second loss for Al Gharafa this season.
Meanwhile, Al Sadd banked on a 21-point cushion after three quarters and cashed in on penalty foul shots in the dying seconds to escape with a precarious 60-55 victory over Eljaish in the first game.
Dela Rosa and his team-mates almost saw their sterling hard work go for nothing as they allowed their huge advantage slip away.
The scores were 56-55, going into the last 2 minutes of the game.
The Emir Cup champions dominated the game from the start as Michael Benjamin Southall and Johann Mpondo dazzled, combining for 18 of Sadd’s 37 points as against to Eljaish’s 25.
Dela Rosa and Khalid Salman shut the lights out from the outside, sharing 32 points between them.
The duo also outplayed their counterparts in other departments with Del Rosa getting 6 assists and 6 rebounds, and Salman claiming 7 and 4 respectively.
Games resume tomorrow with Qatar SC playing Al Ahli at 5.00pm. Al Rayyan play Al Wakrah play at 7.00pm