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Asian Club Championships 2004 - Men Basketball



leagueslogos:Asian-Club-Championships_logobasketball.gif 

Standings

Group A

1.Al Wahda 4-0
2.Sharjah 3-1
3.Al Manama 2-2
4.Yg Cagers 1-3
5.Mediatrix T 0-4

Group B

1.Al Rayyan 3-1
2.Sangmu 3-1
3.Sagesse 2-2
4.Petronas 1-3
5.Al Kuwait 1-3

Standings

Group A

1.Al Wahda 4-0
2.Sharjah 3-1
3.Al Manama 2-2
4.Yg Cagers 1-3
5.Mediatrix T 0-4

Group B

1.Al Rayyan 3-1
2.Sangmu 3-1
3.Sagesse 2-2
4.Petronas 1-3
5.Al Kuwait 1-3


Asian Cup held by Sagesse captain Fadi el Khatib. To the left Sagesse President Choueiry.

Sagessee celebrating 2004 title.

  Lebanese Al Hikmeh Sagesse Asian Champions 2004; The Third in the Club's History

Lebanese Al Hekmeh Sagesse are the champions of Asia 2004, whereas the Syrian Al Wehda, Asian title holders of 2003 failed in their bid to two-peat two titles in a row.

 

Asia Club Championship Final

Al Herkmeh Sagesse (Lebanon) - Al Wehda (Syria)  72-70

The results by quarter: Q1: 21-16  Q2: 37-35  Q3: 51-53 Q4: 72-70)

 

After a first good quarter in which Al Hekmeh were ahead, Syrian Al Wehda closed the score in the second to just one basket. In the third, Al Hekmeh sored ahead again 45-39, but Al Wehda with an 6-0 run not only evened the score 45-45 but went one ahead 53-51 scoring the last two baskets of the third.

The Syrian side continued its upbeat attacks in the fourth with another 5-0 run 51-58. It was time for a time-out by Sagesse Greek coach Elias Zouros such that Al Hekmeh regained lead in its own 8-0 run five minutes from end 59-58 then 68-62, 68-64.  Then balance tilted back towards Al Wehda closed the gap through Andrew Pitts 70-68 as Brian Beshara  fouled out. Mohamed Abou Saada gaining the ball failed to capitalize on that but rather committed a deadly turnover (walking). Al Hekmeh retaliated with a basket 72-69. The 5 seconds left for Al Wehda were not enough to score the equalizing three pointer they needed. Final Al Hekmeh Sagesse 72 - Al Wehda Syria 70

Top scorer Hekmeh Sagesse: Brian Beshara 26 points, 4 rebounds, Eric Chatfield 16, Corey Louis 14, Fadi el Khatib 7.

Top scorer Al Wehda: Andrew Pitts 26, Muhammad Abou Saada 13, Khaled Zeidan 12, Shareef al Shareef 8, Bassel Rayya 5, Eddie Washington 4.

 

This is the third title for the Lebanese team after having won the Asian title back to back in 1999 and 2000 in Beirut, Lebanon. With this win, Al Hekmeh Sagesse becomes  the only Asian team with three Asian trophies. 

 

3rd -4th Position:

Al Rayyan (Qatar) - Sangmu (South Korea) 82-80

(Q1: 19-20 Q2: 42-38 Q3: 59--58 Q4: 82-80)

A very tight and interesting game from start to finish. Although a few seconds before the final whistle Sangmu was ahead 79-80, the three-pointer that Brandon Spann ank in gave the vistory and the bronze to Al Rayyan. This would be considered a good showing for Al Rayyan despite the absence of its main start player Yaseen Ismail because of injury.

 

5th - 6th Position:

Sharjah (UAE) - Al Manama (Bahrain) 83-76

(Q1: 22-12 Q2: 41-37 Q3: 68-53 Q4: 83-76)

 

7th - 8th Position

Petronas (Malaysia) - Young Cagers (India) 95-94 

 

Final classification:

Asia Basketball Club Championship:

1. Al Hekmeh Sagesse   Lebanon Champions 2004 - gold

2. Al Wehda                    Syria Runner Up - silver

3. Al Rayyan                   Qatar Third - bronze

4. Sangmu                       South Korea

5. An Nahl Sharjah          UAE

6. Al Manama                   Bahrain

7. Petronas                      Malaysia

8. Young Cagers             India

9. Al Kuwait SC               Kuwait

10. Mediatrix Telecom      Philippines


  Asia: An All-Arab Final: Sagesse - Wehda - May 21, 2004 - by Garo Salibian

Lebanese Al Hekmeh Sagesse team is to the final for a third possible Asian title for the club. Their rivals will be the incumbent Asian champions and local rivals Al Wehda (Syria)

 

Semi-final 1:

Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon) - Al Rayyan (Qatar) 87-69)

(Q1: 22-12  Q2: 43-27  Q3: 67-49  Q4: 87-69)

In the semi finals of the 15th Asian Club Championships in Jeddah Saudi Arabia, the Lebanese Al Hekmeh Sagesse are just one step of redeeming the Asian basketball title. If they do, this will be the third Asia title to Sagesse after the 1999 and 2000 titles both won in Beirut, Lebanon during the 10th and 11th Asian Club Championships.

Their counterpart in the final will be Syrian basketball champions and current Asian champions Al Wehda Syria. They had both qualified after the West Asia Basketball Association (WABA) qualification games in Damascus (Syria) with Sagesse finishing first and Al Wehda second.

It is worthwhile to note that Al Hekmeh won in the semi-finals on the Qatari Al Rayyan, another Asian title holder (in 2002) with a convincing 18 point lead 87-69.  The three quarter results (Q1: 22-12 Q2: 43-27 Q3: 67-49).

Scorers:

Top scorers and best player for the game was Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon) player Fadi el Khatib (197-F-79) 36 points (including 3 three-pointers ) plus 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Other scoreres: Lebanese-American Brian Beshara 15 points and 10 rebounds, Americans Corey Louis 12 points and 10 rebounds and Eric Chatfield 9 points, Sabah Khoury 6 points, Roy Samaha 5, Charles Bardawil 4.

Al Rayyan (Qatar): Brandon Spann 18, Rogers Wasahington 13, Irfan Saeed 11, Muhammad al Abdallah 8, Daoud Musa 7,  Omar Abdel Qader 6, Hashem Zaydan 6.

Performance thus far:

Sagesse were 2-2 in the preliminary round with wins over Al Rayyan 99-98 and Petronas (Malaysia) 92-71 and losses to Sangmu (South Korea) 85-84 and to Al Kuwait SC 92-85. They went on to defeat in the quarter finals hosts An Nahl Sharjah 82-78 and in the semi-finals Al Rayyan (Qatar) for a second time 87-69.

 

Semi final 2:

Al Wehda (Syria) - Sangmu (South Korea) 99-89

(Q1: 16-17  Q2: 40-44  Q3: 67-73   Q4: 99-89)

In the other semi-final match-up present champions Al Wehda (Syria) defeated  Sangmu (South Korea) 99-89. Despite the South Koreans advancing in the first three quarters, the Syrians caught up with a 32-16 run mainly through the American Andrew Pitts. Also notable plays by Mohamed Abou Saada, Bassel Rayya, Fayez el Hennawi and Eddie Washington.

Thus far, the Syrians are the only side that remains defeatless and have gone now 4-0 in the preliminary round with wins against Mediatrix Telecom (the Philippines) 113-62, against the Young Cagers (India) 122-49, on Bahraini Al Manama 111-87 and hosts An Nahl Sharjah 79-67 They also won their quarter finals against Petronas (Malaysia) 100-68 and semi finals against Sangmu South Korea 99-89 for an overall 6-0 record.

 

Again an Asian All-Arab basketball final:

This is yet another display of the advance of basketball in the Arab World. Six of the original 10 finalists were Arab teams and only 4 from the rest of Asia. Out of these, three teams of the four finaliststhat made it this year were from Arab nations from the center East and the final will be an All-Arab affair.

Regardaless of the result of the game, the title will firmly remain in the center East for the sixth time in a row:

1999: Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon)

2000: Al Hekmen Sagesse (Lebanon)

2001: Al Ittihad (Sauydi Arabia)  / Runners up Al Rayyan (Qatar)

2002: Al Rayyan (Qatar) / Runners up Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia)

2003: Al Wehda (Syria) / runners up Al Rayyan (Qatar)

2004: Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon)  3rd title or Al Wehda (Syria) 2nd title.

This is a huge turn of events and greatly significant in Asian basketball, since all Asian basketball titles prior to that had gone to teams from the Far East like China, Hong Kong, Philippines and South Korea. 





Andrew Pitts

  Asia: Best Players of Round 1 - May 21, 2004 - by Garo Salibian

The players that peformed the best for round 1 (four games each) are as follows:

Top scorers:

1. Andrew Pitts (Al Wehda - Syria)  127 points

1. Rogers Washington (Al Rayyan - Qatar)  127 popints

3. Fadi el Khatib (Al Hekmeh Sagesse - Lebanon)  120 points

4. Lorenzo Hall (An Nahl - Sharjah UAE) 105 points

5. Dusty Richard (Petronas - Malaysia) 104 points

6. Olumide Oyedeji  (Al Kuwait Sc - Kuwait) 100

7. Daoud Musa (Al Rayyan - Qatar)  96 points

8. Mahmoud Ghallum (Al Manama - Bahrain) 85 points

9. Cho Sang-hyun (Sangmu - South Korea)  84 

Top rebounders:

1. Lorenzo Hall (An Nahl Sharjah - UAE) 51 rebounds

1. Omar Abdel Kader (Al Rayyan - Qatar) 51 rbounds

3. Olumide Oyedeji (Al Kuwait SC - Kuwait)

4. Eddie Washington (Al Wehda - Syria) 

Top Three-point Shooters:

1. Daoud Musa (Al Rayyan - Qatar) 17 three-points

2. Andrew Pitts  (Al Wehda - Syria) 15

2. Cho Sang-hyun (Sangmu - South Korea) 15

4. Geno Carlisle (Al Kuwait SC - Kuwait) 14 

4. Jonathan Tarronas (Mediatrix Telecom - Philippines) 14

6. Lee Kyu-sup (Sangmu - South Korea) 13

7. Fadi el Khatib (Al Hekmeh Sagesse - Lebanon) 12

7. Kappusamy Satyaseelan (Petronas - Malaysia) 11

9. Mohammed Abou Saada (Al Wehda - Syria) 10

  



  Asia Quarter Finals: Sagesse Al Rayyan To Meet Again in the Semis - May 20, 2004 - by Garo Salibian

 

Round 2 of the 15th Asian Basketball Club Chmapionship started in earnest tonight:

 

First of Group A vs  Fourth of Group B

Al Wehda (Syria)  vs Petronas (Malaysia) 100-68

(Q1: 18-16 Q2: 37-34  Q3: 67-46  Q4: 100-68)

 

Third of Group B vs Second of Group A

Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon) - An Nahl Sharjah (UAE) 82-78 

(Q1: 24-22  Q2: 44-38  Q3: 60-62  Q4: 82-78)

A game that turned very ugly and was marred with continuous protest particularly from the Lebanese bench who were crying bias in almost all the decisions made by the referees of the game. But in any case, Hekmeh stayed and Hekmeh won. There was the welcome return of Corey Louis from injury and Hekmeh were certainly more effective under the basket because of this . They started on a high note with an early lead 13-4. But after a quick timeout by Sharjah coach Abdel Hamid Ibrahim, Sharjah caught on 13-10. It was also clear that Sharjah defensive players were keeping a close guard on Lebanese Fadi el Khatib to curtail the movements of this high scoring Lebanese star. On the Lebanese side, most of the necessary defensive work was done by Brian Beshara as Corey Louis, obviously not 100% fit yet fresh from injury was committing many turnovers. American Lorenzo Hall who is no stranger to Lebanon and one of the most followed foreigners in the league (having played for As Sadaka for 3 years), he came back to reduce the 11 point Hekmeh advance to just one 37-36. But Eric Chatfield's three saved the half 44-38.

Al Hekmeh was then hit by a series of fouling calls that put many of its key players in serious foul trouble including Brian Beshara and Fadi el Khatib. This allowed Lorenzo Hall to take over the third quarter and establish a slight lead for Sharjah 62-60. As Sagesse reversed the trend 66-65, the referees cancelled the basket and the foul by Corey Louis seeing a "walking" that nobody else saw... An Nahl Sharjah again adged ahead but Hekmeh equalized 75-75 through three points by Eric Chatfield, then went ahead 77-76 and 79-78. The turnover by Khatib was matched by a  turnover by Lorenzo Hall. Hekmeh finished 82-78 after tactical fouls by the Sharjah team that sent Hekmeh to the line. 

 

But press reports concentrate on the refereeing of the game that left a lot to be desired. There are also reports that the President of the Hekmeh club Antoine Choueiry actually decided to withdraw the team as he said it was pointless to continue with this type of game. Al Hekmeh had a lot of misgivings about ABC and the organizers even before coming to Sharjah and it was only at last minute decision that they reconsidered and came. The Lebanese press is also full of protest about bad refereeing. The Lebanese newspapers were unanimous that Hekmeh had to beat more than just Sharjah (meaning they had to overcome the referees as well..)  and that it won despite the "refereeing massacre" that was set for them. "Al Balad" daily commented that it seems every means  was being used to keep the Lebanese team at all costs out of the final competition. "As Safeer" entitled its piece: Hekmeh Win Over Both Sharjah and the Two Referees "that trangresssed a lot over the Lebanese team".

It can only get worse as time goes on they said, particularly as next rivals are Qatari Al Rayyan.   

 

Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon): Eric Chatfield 24, Corey Louis 17 (and 12 rebounds) Brian Beshra 16 (and 7 rebounds), Fadi el Khatib 13 (and 6 rebounds), Roy Samaha 5, Sabah Khoury 4, Charles Bardawil 3

An Nahl Sharjah (UAE): Lorenzo Hall 25, Salem Mubarak 13, Ayoub Abbas 12, Khaleefah al Sheeba 12, Jordanian Sam Douglas 11

 

Second of Group B vs Third of Group A

Sangmu (South Korea) - Al Manama (Bahrain) 86-75

(Q1: 25-17  Q2: 43-38  Q3: 67-54  Q4: 86-75) 

 

First of Group B vs Fourth of Group A

Al Rayyan (Qatar) - Young Cagers (India) 102-64

(Q1: 20-18  Q2: 44-35  Q3: 68-49  Q4: 102-64)

In a match-up that confronted the powerful Rayyan team with aspirations for a seocnd title with a team made up of young basketball players, it was very forseeable that coach Willie Richardson would resort to checking some of his young bench players instaed. So there was ample time for players like Abdel Azeez al Takrooni, Musaed Raslan.

Top scorer for Rayyan was Mohammed Salim with 22. Meanwhile Rayan's Daoud Musa best three-point shooter . On the Young Cagers side, Sozhasingarayar Robinson was top scorer with 22. 

 

Ninth-Tenth Position game:

Fifth of Group B vs Fifth of Group A:

Al Kuwait Sc (Kuwait) - Mediatrix Telecom (Philippines)  125-100

Al Kuwait SC has finished 9th overall, leaving the 10th final place to the Filipino side Mediatrix Telecom despite the latter making 21 three pointers to Al Kuwait SC's 17  

 

Remaining program:

Semi-final 1: Al Rayyan (Qatar) - Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon)

Semi-final 2: Al Wehda (Syria) - Sangmu (South Korea)

For classification round:

5th and 6th position: An Nahl Sharjah (UAE) vs Al Manama (Bahrain)

7th and 8th position: Petronas (Malaysia) vs Young Cagers (India)

9th and 10th positions already decided.

9th: Al Kuwait SC (Kuwait SC)

10th: Mediatrix Telecom (Philippines)



  Kuwait; winner of the battle of 3points shoot - May 20, 2004 - by Mahin Gorgy

Al Kuwait - Medriatrix 125-100
(35- 24/ 29 -14/ 38  -  30/23-35)
Kuwait finished the competition with the last victory against Philippine, while Head Coach Muhammad Al Badar is not satisfied with the rank his guys got: “it wasn’t our game. It should played by Malaysia, not us”
Clearly Al Kuwait was tired. Although they moved better than the eastern rival, they seemed nervous. For Medriatrix, the game was fair: “my player played basketball well and they did their job as I wanted them.” Head Coach Nelson kilos said.
With the lack of big men, Medriatrix had no other chance just shooting; they scored 21 three points shoot at the end while Kuwait had 17.

 

Coach comments after the game:
Muhammad Al Badar : the competition was too tough for us and definitely the group B, it was too hard for us to play against Al Hekmeh, Al Ryan and also Sang Mu, it killed us. Anyway, generally it was a new experience for my players,. Next time we will be much better.

 

Nelson kilos: My player did a big fight in this competition. Unfortunately we don’t have tall player and it suffers us.



Ahmed Al
Mutawa,
Manama
Bahrain

  Day 5: End of Round 1; Leaders Al Wehda 4-0 and Al Rayyan 3-1 - May 19, 2004 - by Garo Salibian

The preliminary round of the 15th Asian Club Championsips in Sharjah, UAE ended today with only the Syrian Wehda, incumbent champions of Asia 2003  keeping a clean record 4-0. Thus Wehda kept the leading position in Group A and will meet Petronas (Malaysia) in the quarter finals. Both Qatari Al Rayyan and South Korean Sangmu finished with one loss each. But Al Rayyan is top of Group B on goal advantage and will meet the Indian Young Cagers in the quarter final, whereas Sangmu finishing second will face Al Manama (Bahrain). Finally local hosts Sharjah finishing 2nd of group A with a record of 3-1 will meet Lebanese Al Hekmeh Sagesse who ended up round 1 even 2-2.

 

Group A:

Al Manama (Bahrain) - Young Cagers (India)  95-68

(Q1: 25-16  Q2: 48-32  Q3: 72-60  Q4: 95-68)

Young Cagers, the youngest side in the Asian Club Championship with an average age of 19 is trying to put up a brave face. Same tonight with Sambhaji Kadam, Yadwinder Singh and Amit Prashar putting some resistance. The best Indian run came in the third through  Sozhasingarayer Robinson and Amit Pashar reducing the score to  59-40. But Al Manama regained control in the fourth quarter and finished the game comfortably. Notable in Manama's effort was Ahmed Al Mutawa (198-F/C-81, college: Lincoln Memorial), Ahmad Qaheri and American Pervis Pasco.

 

Al Wehda (Syria) - An Nahl Sharjah (UAE)  79-67

(Q1: 20-14  Q2: 43-34  Q3: 56-47  Q4: 79-67)

.A very strong game between the local hosts and the Asian champions, both of who came with a perfect 2-0 record thus far. However Al Wehda estbalished itself firmly as the leader from quarter 1 with notable playes from 2003 Asia MVP Andrew Pitts as well as Shareef al Shareef, Bassel Rayya and loan player from Aleppo Al Ittiahd Mohamed Abou Saada. Pitts outsmarted the rivals in quickness, in penetrations as well as in accuarte shooting. But with the second quarter, An Nahl Sharjah did retaliate with excellent shooting and with three pointers from Jordanian American Sam Douglas and Al, Wasl loan player Khaleefah al Sheeba for an equality 32-32. Good contributors to Sharjah also included Avoub Abbas (again of Al Wasl) and An Nahl's own Salem Mbrak.

But this was a temporary lapse for Al Wehda for soon after followed an avalance of baskets by the experienced Syrian point guard Mohamed Abou Saada and an 11-2 Syrian run for them to end the half comfortably 43-34. The third was a difficult affair as the Sharjah players including American Lorenzo Hall tried to catch up but Al Wehda stoo firm 56-47. And the inevitable happened as in many other sensitive games like this with serious scuffles between the two sides resulting in a game stoppage for many long minutes. Eventually though, tempers cooled down and the Syrians finished the game 12 ahead 79-67. 

With this win, Al Wehda will be facing a relatively weak Malaysian Petronas team whereas Sharjah have to face the much stringer and tougher Al Hekmeh Sagesse team from Lebanon in the quarter finals.    

 

Group B:

Sangmu (South Korea) - Petronas (Malaysia) 103-50

(Q1: 25-16  Q2: 41-30  Q3: 69-37  Q4: 103-50)

Having lost to Qatar's Al Rayyan a day earlier in a two-hour taxing encounter (with 2 overtimes ending in a one point loss 108-107), this defeat had physically drained the Malaysian Petronas out. So South Korean Sangmu's task was very easy really. After an early lead by the Koreans and a nominal comeback of Malaysians who tried to reduce the gap to a more manageable figure, the fall of Petronas was complete in the third with Koreans scoring 28-7 run. Petronas never recovered from that point on. 

 

Al Rayyan (Qatar) - Al Kuwait SC (Kuwait) 96-78

(Q1: 26-23  Q2: 48-45  Q3: 80-59  Q4: 96-78)

After a great win over Lebanese Al Hekmeh Sagesse, the Kuwaitis tried to pull an almost similar surprise tonight against another Asian champion, Al Rayyan of Qatar hoping at least to qualify to the next round by finishing fourth. In the first half averything was going to plan with the two new signers Geno Carlisle and Olumide "Big Olu" Oyedeji trying to hold on. The first half did finish reasonably 48-45. But the painful collapse of the Kuwaitis came in the third with a 32-14 Rayyan run that stunned them as they gave up with physical exhaustion in the wake of the previous night game and the intense first half against Rayyan got the best of the Kuwaitis. Spearheading the Rayyan attack were Brandon Spann, Irfan Ali Saeed, Omar Salem and the devastating shooting of Rogers Washington sealed the Kuwaitis fate. Washington would end up scoring 30 points.    

 

 

Quarter Final Match-Ups:

1st A vs 4th B - Al Wehda (Syria)  vs Petronas (Malaysia)

2nd A vs 3rd B - An Nahl Sharjah (UAE) - Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon)

3rd A vs 2nd B - Al Manama (Nahrain) - Sangmu (South Korea)

4th A vs 1st B - Young Cagers (India) vs Al Rayyan (Qatar) 

9th and 10th places decider: 5th of A vs 5th of B: Mediatrix Telecom (Philippines) vs Al Kuwait SC (Kuwait)





Geno
Carlisle
(Kuwait
SC) 28
against
Sagesse

  Day 4: Rayyan Needed Double OT To Win and First Win for Kuwait SC Over Sagesse - May 19, 2004 - by Garo Salibian

The fourth day of the Asian Club Championships was a tough time for the strong teams of Group B. First Al Rayyan barely survived the regulation time against Petronas and needed two overtimes to win by just one. Whereas Al Hekmeh Sagesse lost to what observers thought was a weaker Al Kuwait SC. But apparanlty not. Meanwhile in group A, Al Weda and Sharjah are both 3-0 after relatively easy wins.

 

Group A:

An Nahl Sharjah (UAE) - Mediatrix Telecom (Philippines) 100-82

(Q!: 26-11  Q2: 44-44  Q3: 75-56  Q4: 100-82)

Although Sharjah started on a right foot in the first quarter 26-11, the Filipino Mediatrix had a tremendous comeback from the shorter Filipinos as they erased a 26-11 deficit altogether through spirited play and very accurate shooting from outside, particularly by Ricky Ricafuente, Jonathan Tarronas.and Stephen Mopera for a deserving equality 44-44 at halftime buzzer. But Sharjah's American player Lorenzo Hall took over the third by storm and the Filipino onslaught was checked in the third and Sharjah could seal this one at the end by a comfortable margin. Mediatrix Telecom was simply outmanned at the end as it has no high profile international recruits, unlike Sharjah where experienced Lorenzo Hall's services came very handy.

Sharjah: American Lorenzo Hall 22, Ayoub Abbas (Al Wasl) 18, Adnan al Khayyal 14, Sam Douglas (Fastlink Jordan) 12,   

 

Al Wehda (Syria) - Al Manama (Bahrain)  111-87

(Q1: 26-23  Q2: 51-44  Q3: 87-69  Q4: 111-87)

The Syrian Asian title holders established an early lead and were able to keep it and increase the gap as time went on for a comfortable lead of 7 at the half, 18 at the end of the third and eventaully 24 at the end. 

 

Group B:

Al Rayyan (Qatar) - Petronas (Malaysia) 108-107 in Double Overtime

(Q1: 26-22  Q2: 47-41  Q3: 60-62  Q4: 85-85  OT1: 96-96  OT2: 108-107) 

A huge gruelling game that completely drained out both teams. The game needed two overtimes 85-85, 96-96 to be decided on one point at the end 108-107 favor of the Asian champions of 2002 and runners up 2003. It could be also described as the battle of the two coaches. Rayyan's Charlie Richardson on one, and Petronas' Brain Lester on the other. As in all games, one coach is relieved, the other saddemed. This time around it was Richardson's turn, but Lester has every reason to be proud of his team's performance tonight.

After a good start and a slight lead in  the qaurter by four and at half by six, soon the energetic Malaysian team caught up and went ahead in the third by a basket 62-60. Late in the fourth, Al Rayyan were still trailing 83-85. But came Rayyan player Roger Washington's basket at the most crucial time saving the team and forcing an overtime for his team. The Malaysian Petronas never giving up edged ahead again in overtime 94-91 and 96-94 and yet again Rogers Washington came to the rescue 96-96 for yet another 5 minutes in a second overtime! Thankfully for Al Rayyan, they could hold on to the second overtime 103-99, 106-102 and finally 108-107. The closest Petronas came was 103-102 with a great three-pointer Scott McGregor.

 

Al Kuwait SC (Kuwait) - Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon)  92-85

(Q1: 24-25  Q2: 38-42  Q3: 62-61  Q4: 92-85)

Al Hekmeh Sagesse had a very surprise call depsite starting quite well and edging ahead by 28-25, 37-32 and 42/38. But with the second quarter, the Kuwaiti team caught up benefitting from absence of Coery Louis and foul trouble of Fadi el Khatib (4 fould early in third, some Lebanese papers claiming because of over-zealous refereeing) and by center Roy Samaha in the fourth. Al Kuwait Sports Club and with its back firmly against the wall with a 0-2 record needed to prove they were still in contention. And they delivered marvelously, through a veritable star Geno Carlisle (190-G-76, agency: Larry Fox Services, college: California) who has won many accolades in the Italian basketball league, through Nigerian NBA player Olumide Oyedeji and the deadly accurate shooting of guard Yahya al Bahr. This led to an important advance for Al, Kuwait of 8 points 73-65 and eventually 12 points five minutes from end. The comeback of Sagesse could be described as just cosmetic with token points that served to reduce the gap but without being able to overtake the energized Kuwaitis. Not an ideal day for the Lebanese, but despite their 2-2 record (6 points),  they remain frimly in contention for the next round through advantage scored against Malaysian Petronas 92-71.   

Al Kuwait SC: Geno Carlisle  28, Olumide Oyedeji  21,  Yahya al Bahr 17 (including 5 three pointers).  

Al Hekmeh (sagesse): Fadi el Khatib 32, American Eric Chatfield 22, Brian Beshara 13 


  Day 3: Al Rayyan Surprises Sangmu with a Big Win; Also Victories for Sagesse, Al Wehda and Al Manama - May 18, 2004 - by Garo Salibian

In Day 3, the South Korean team has suffered a humiliating defeat in the hands of Al Rayyan by 28 points reshuffling all the cards in Group B. Meanwhile there were expected wins for Al Hekmeh Sagesse, Al Manama and Al Wehda. Rest day for Al Nahl Sharjah and Al Kuwait SC

 

Group A:

Al Wehda (Syria) - Young Cagers (India) 122-49

(Q1: 36-18  Q2: 62-21  Q3:    Q4: 122-49)

Even from the first whistle it was clear that Young Cagers of India were no match to the Syrian Asian champions are Wehda. True Indian Shiv Kumar, Jagdeep Singh and Sozhasingharayer Robinson put an initial ingenious play in the first quarter 30-15, but the Syrians were already ahead with a double score 36-18 by the end of quarter. Then the Indian side totally collapsed with a total of 3 points in second quarter to Al Wehda's 28. The match contnued as a one-sided affair the entire second half. The heaviest defeat of all games thus far: an excruciatingly painful 73 points advantage for Syria.

 

Al Manama (Bahrain) - Mediatrix Telecom (Philippines)  98-81

(Q1: 27-22  Q2: 57-47  Q3: 87-62  Q4: 98-81)

Most of the Bahraini Al Manama scoring came early in the game through their American forward Pervis Pascoe, who led the Manama scoring with 17 points in the first half. Coach Ahmed Hamza kept took Pascoe out as the rest of the players continued without missing a beat for the entire second half. This is the first Al Manama victory and the thrid consecutive defeat for Filipino Mediatrix who are out of the competition altogether regardless of the result of the 4th game.

 

Group B:

Al Rayyan (Qatar) - Sangmu (South Korea)  96-68

(Q1: 36-22  Q2: 50-45 Q3: 78-58  Q4: 96-68)

In a reversal of fortunes for Sangmu, and after a key last second win on Sagesse in Day 2, the South Korean team has suffered a humiliating defeat in the hands of Al Rayyan by 28 points making the top three teams in Group B even with one loss each and reshuffling all the cards in that group. Korean Seo Dong-chul said his players were completely drained after just 24 hours from their huge effort against Lebanese Sagesse that Sangmu won 85-84.
Al Rayyan have now regained their confidence after their loss to Sagesse in the opening day again by one point 99-98. Even from the start of the game, Al Rayyan coached by Charlie Richardson were more focused and determined. Irfan Ali Saeed and Rayyan American import Rogers Washington gave an early head start for Al Rayyan by fourteen pointa 36-22.  Despite some good efforts by Sangmu's Lim Young-hun, Al Rayyan continued it's lead until one minute from end of half 45-34. But Sangmu headed by Lim Young-hun staged an impressive comback made an 11-3 run in the very last minute finishing the half just a amangeable 5 points behind 50-45. Al Rayyan however did not allow such a comback and were keen on stopping the Koreans from shooting from their favorite three-point range that effectively had drained Sagesse one night earlier. None of that this time around as the Qatari side solidly moved ahead 78-58 and never looked back for a huge win 96-68, a result that has surprised most obsevers. Best in Al Rayan Rogers Washington, Brandon Spann, Doud Musa, Irfan Ali Saeed and Omar Abou Bakr. Despite initial loss, Al Rayyan remain a heavy contender for the Asian title this time around.

 

Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon) - Petronas (Malaysia)  92-71

(Q1: 26-13  Q2: 53-39  Q3: 81-50  Q4: 92-71)

For the first three quarters when the coach of the Lebanese team, the Greek Elias Zouros was using his main players, Al Hekmeh was comfortably ahead with thirteen in first quarter, 24 at half and by 31 by the end of the third. In the fourth quarter however, coach Zouros decided to play mostly with bench players. This allowed Malaysian Petronas to get slightly closer but without posing any real danger to Al Hekmeh Sagesse lead. Sagesse ended the game comfortably 21 ahead 92-71.

It is clear that at the defensive end, Sagesse has slightly suffered by the continued absence of injured American Corey Louis,, but Roy Samaha is doing a good job as replacement in the same position. Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79) was brilliant and back to his usual form today scoring 41 poimts after a lacklustre and somewhat lacking and subdued performance in the previous game against Sangmu.

Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon) top scorers: Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79) 41 and 9 rebounds, Brian Beshara 16, Eric Chatfield 16, Roy Samaha 8

Petronas (Malaysia): Dusty Richard 25 points and 9 rebounds, Yang Tiam Hung 11 points

  Day 2: Sharjah and Cagers (A) Sangmu and Petronas (B) - May 16, 2004 - by Garo Salibian

The second day of the 15th Asian Basketball Club Championships saw a one point win by Sangmu on Sagesse after the latter had had a one point win just 24 hours earlier against Al Rayyan. The Indian Young Cagers ahd their first win. Also key wins by Petronas and local hosts An Nahl Sharjah.

 

Group A:

An Nahl Sharjah (UAE) - Al Manama (Bahrain) 101-83

(Q1: 29-25  Q2: 47-45  Q3: 73-68  Q4: 101-83)

Sharjah is on a role till now and 2-0 with the same record as South Korea in Group B. The Manama team was a good match throughout the first half that ended 47-45. In the thrid they remained in good contention but signs of a retreat were showing as they stayed behind 5 points. But eventually the UAE hosts with  key acquisitions for the games,, namely Khaleefah al Sheeba, Ayoub Daoud and Ibrahim Khalfan all from Al Wasl team as well as brilliant Jordanian Faslink players American Lorenzo Hall and Wisam "Sam" Douglas had the better of the day for an18 point win.

  

Young Cagers (India) - Mediatrix Telecom (Philippines) 80-70

(Q1: 25-21  Q2: 42-37  Q3: 58-55  Q4: 80-70)

What could be dubbed as the meeting of the two underdogs of the Asian championship, it is clear that the Indian side is far better and more effective. In fact the Young Cagers players Sozhasingarayer Robinson and and Shanmugam Sridhar were the dominant players that gave the team a deserved win against Filipino Mediatrix Telecom. The two youngsters clearly displayed a lot battling qualities. Noteworthy is their dribbling abilities and fast breaks that caught Mediatrix by surprise. created problems for Mediatrix. Although the Filipino team hit back and cane close in the third qaurter, the Young Cagers’ spirited fight, especially in the last minutes of the fourth quarter, earned them a thrilling win. As a result of this game, the Indians have probably secured themselves a spot in the quarter-finals against leader of group B (probably Sangmu of South Korea)

 

Group B

Sangmu (South Korea) - Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon) 85-84

(Q1: 20-21  Q2: 29-46 Q3: 60-63 Q4: 85-84)

Al Hekmeh squandered a sure win through apathy and sudden set back suffered in the second half. Sure the team had started on a wrong foot tonight with the injury of Corey Louis, thus leaving Sagesse with one foreigner Eric Chatfield. Hekmeh will not be able to use its third import player Willie Burton in any case. But Eric Chatfiled was doing his best to cover for his teammate's absence. Sagesse was ahead 46-29 at the half. And suddenly the three point bombardments started from the two sot hands of the Koreans, that the Sagesse defenders were incapable of stopping. The key players for Sangmu's comeback Cho Sang-hyun and Lee Kyu-sup with the first 5 successful threes and the second with 7. And thus most of the Hekmeh lead had disappeared by the third anyhow. But they still hang on to a slight lead by end of third 63-60. In the fourth Sangmu finally had its say with a razor edge win by one point. 

Sangmu (South Korea): Cho Sang-hyun 30 (including 5 three pointers,  Lee Kyu-sup 29 (including 7 three pointers)

Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon): Eric Chatfield 30, Brian Beshara 22, Fadi el Khatib 19, Roy Samaha 8, Charles Bardawil 4, Bassem Balaa 1

 

Petronas (Malaysia) - Al Kuwait SC (Kuwait) 84-80

(Q1: 24-23  Q2: 46-39  Q3: 56-60 Q4: 84-80)

After a balanced first quarter, Al Kuwait SC coached by Mohammed al Bader spearheaded with good lead 46-39 at half and 60-56 at the end of the third. Most damage to Petronas was done through former NBA player now playing for Al Kuwait SC Olumide Oyedeji and by Hamad as Sahou Al Shammeri. But apparently Petronas, coached by the Australian Brian Lester benefitted from a certain lapse in concentration by the Kuwaitis and stunned them in the fourth. The erratic Kuwaitis went into foul trouble. The costliest for them though were the last 16 seconds where they trailed by just a point 81-80 only to foul for Koh Way Tek and K. Satyaseelan to convert a Kuwaiti lead into a Malaysian victory 84-80.The Kuwait Club’s defeat was their second in succession after losing their opening match to Sangmu of South Korea on Saturday.

 

  Day 1: Hekmeh on Rayyan By One -- Sangmu, Sharjah and Wehda in Three Easy - May 15, 2004 - by Garo Salibian
In Day 1 of the Asian Basketball Club hampionhip:

Group A:

Al Wehda (Syria) - Mediatrix Telecom (Philippines) 113-62

(Q1: 33-14 Q2: 49-27 Q3: 81-31  Q4: 113-62)

The difference in standards was so apparent from the beginning with the Syrians confining Filipino Mediatrix to just 27 points in the first half. Mediatrix just gave up in the third where they just scored 4 points and when the result passed the double score, it was time to use the bench for the Syrian champions who are the Asian title holders 2003. Syrian center Anwar Abd el Hayy didn't play for tonight.

 

An Nahl Sharjah (UAE) - Young Cagers (India) 86-57

The local hosts Sharjah came quite reassured with their first encounter against a very weak Indian side and had no problem in dominating the entire game from start to finish winning with a 29 point lead 86-57. Top scoreres for Sharjah: American Lorenzo Hall and Jordanian Wisam "Sam" Douglas

 

Background info on the Young Cagers:

(courtesy of Edwin Ashi Nikoi of the "Khaleej Times") 

Young Cagers of India hopes to give a fight despite the relative inexperience of the team.The New Delhi-based side, who arrived late on Thursday night, held a one month training camp in Cochin where they competed in a tournament. “We played against a number of local teams including the Police and Border Security Forces”, Mukhtiar Singh, coach of the team told “But this is a young team of an average age of 19 years. “We want to give them international exposure in this championship to prepare them for the youth under-22 championship in Tehran in September and under-19 tournament scheduled for Bangalore before the end of the year. Singh admits the Sharjah Asian event will not be all that easy for his side as most of the participating teams are fielding professional players. “It is difficult for us if other teams have professionals in their ranks. I still have confidence in my team. “The players are young but they can play an important role in the championship,” he said.

 

Group B:

Sangmu (South Korea) - Al Kuwait SC (Kuwait) 102-87

(Q1: 23-21 Q2: 49-47  Q3: 72-64 Final: 102-87)

The first half was a test of force between the two teams and both sides were impressive from the long range. Al Kuwait SC had the high profile Olumide Oyedeji (210-C/F-81) (formerly of the NBA Seattle Supersonics and Orlando Magic). He scored 25 under the basket and Osama al Farhan and American Gino Carlisle sharp shootong gave Al Kuwait the edge 35-30 , but he Koreans retaliated through a very good Lee Kyu-sup to finish the half their favor by a basket 49-47. Sangmu had their needed break in the third. Although Lee Kyu-sup went out with 5 fouls, the Koreans introduced another gunner Cho Sang-hyun who was equally effective and gave them the lead by the end of the third through three pointers that delighted the crowd. The experienced South Koreans kept the lead till the end for a deserved win. Particularly impressive in this period was Lim Young-Hoon .The South Koreans are fielding an all home-based players (no foreigners signed). Besides experienced Lee Kyu-sup and excellent Cho Sang-hyun, there were good performances by Lim Young-Hoon and Yoon Hoon-Woo . The tallest player is 25-year-old Lee Doo-Hoon at 1.97m. Sangmu scored 15 three pointers including 5 to Lee Kyu-sup . The Kuwaitis scored 13 three pointers including 5 to the American Geno Carlisle. Top scoreres:

Sangmu: Lee Kyu-sup 25, Lee Hyung-joo 23 and Cho Sang-hyun 17

Al Kuwait SC: Olumide Oyedeji (210-C/F-81) 25, Geno Carlisle 23 Osama al Farhan 22 Yahya al Bahr 8.   

 

Al Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon) - Al Rayyan (Qatar) 99-98

(Q1: 23-23 Q2: 47-44  Q3: 74-67 Q4: 99-98)

Veritably an "early final" between Asian champions 1999 and 2000 Lebanese Hekmeh Sagesse and also Asian champions 2002 and runners up 2001 and 2003 Al Rayyan. Bith teams still remain big contenders for the Asian title 2004.

To start, Sagesse's Greek coach had a surprsie up his sleeves by using Coery Louis and Eric Chatfield rather than the originally announced Wilie Burton. Although both teams started cautiously, it was Hekmeh Sagesse that surged ahead 38-32 and 41-37. But after Coey Louis went into foul trouble, Al Rayyan gained strength and made a 10-0 run overturning the resuult. But Sagesse could stil finish ahead 47-43 at half with Brian Beshara, Bassem Balaa, Fadi el Khatib, Charles Bardawil and Eric Chatfield handling the comeback quite well. 

Hekmeh's dominated became very clear in the third as they increased the gap to fifteen 61-46 and then 72-65 and 74-67.   

In the crucial fourth quarter, Sagesse were still ahead 96-90 and heading for a good win. But Al Rayyan's American Roger Washington (no stranger to Lebanese basketball where Washington used to play)  was fouled while shooting the three and he made all 3 free throws narrowing the gap into just three 96-93. Sagesse Fady el Khatib scored a basket with 54 seconds remaining 98-93. Then an unfortunate miscalculation by Fady el Khatib and Eric Chatfield and ensuing turnovers gave the chance to Al Rayyan to equalize through threes by Daoud Musa (a loan player from Qatar SC and an excellent shooter from all distances) 98-98. It had become a war of nerves. All depended on Sagesse keeping its cool and making the shot, or Rayyan making the crucial steal or foul. Sagesse coach Zouros called for timeout with 15 seconds left remaining and the posession to Sagesse. Rayyan coach Charlie Richardson also made the necesary arrangements and game tactics. Eric Chatfield was immediately fouled. He made just one of his two free throws 99-98. This gave Al Rayyan a final dash to the basket to shoot a three but they did not succeed thus giving Sagesse a very valuable and thrilling win.

Hekmeh Sagesse (Lebanon): Fadi el Khatib 28, Brian Beshara 25, Charles Bardawil 19 (including 5 three pointers), Eric Chatfield 15 points and 8 assists, Roy Samaha 6, Corey Louis 6.

Al Rayyan (Qatar): Roger Washington 31, Daoud Musa 22, Ali Turky 12 (all from free throws) and Brandon Spann 11. 



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