By Danotzki Santos
Doha: Al Arabi shook off a sloppy first quarter, went to work in the next two periods and nursed their huge points advantage in the fourth to wrap up a laidback victory yesterday over Al Wakra at the Qatar Men’s Basketball League.
Al Arabi won, 97-68, for their fifth win in six outings for solo second place in the team rankings.
Al Wakra got off to a hot start capitalising on Al Arabi’s back-to-back turnovers to take command lead early in the game at 12-4.
The southerners kept their aggressiveness on both ends of the floor to peg a 20-11 advantage before wily guard Mansour Elhadary came in to ignite a 7-0 attack that put Arabi closer 18-20 at the end of the first period.
Arabi applied the pressure forcing Wakra into a string of miscues on the offensive end to grab the lead and pull away, 35-26, midway into the second period.
At this stage Wakra could not match up to the Heir Apparent champions’ running offensive and swarming defense as the latter eventually pulled away, 50-35, at half time.
Both squads fought it out in the third canto but Jalloh Abdullah took charge and ran berserk on the offensive end to keep Arabi in the driver’s seat, 68-50.
The high-flying Jalloh kept the surge in the final period rolling out an 18-8 attack that sealed the fate of Wakra.
In the first match, Al Sadd had an easy time winning against Qatar Sports Club at 72-48 to join Al Rayyan on top of the heap with a clean slate of 5-0.
It was a walk in the park for the Emir Cup champions as they took all stages of the game leading 20-12 at the start, 42-23 at halftime and 57-37 in the third.
Al Sadd had all its starters finishing in double figures with Daoud Mousa, Khaled Sulaiman and Chris de la Rosa contributing 15 points each, Michael Benjamin Southall chipped in with 12 and Saad Abdulrahman scored 11.
Games continue at the Al Gharafa Indoor Hall tomorrow (Friday), with Al Arabi (5-1) and Eljaish (4-2) squaring-off to improve their ranking at 4:00 pm and the defending champions Al Rayyan (5-0) testing Al Gharafa (3-2) at 8:00 pm.
At 6:00 pm there will be a tussle between two of the top teams in the current Pinoy Basketball Qatar League (PBAQ).