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Play-Off bracket4
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Asian Club Championships Standings
Group A
 1. Mahram 4-0 
 2. Smart Gilas 3-1 
 3. Al Riyadi 2-2 
 4. Sangmoo 1-3 
 5. Al Qadsia 0-4 
Group B
 1. Zain 4-0 
 2. Satria Muda 2-2 
 3. Al Arabi 2-2 
 4. Young Cagers 1-3 
 5. Al Wasl 1-3

Asian Club Championships : Mahram won Asian Club Championships 2009

 
   

MAHRAM 2008-09
Mostafa Hashemi Mostafa Hashemi Hashemi
Priest Lauderdale
Lauderdale
Jackson Vroman
Vroman
Mehdi Kamrani
Kamrani
Samad Bahrami
Bahrami
Hamed Afagh
Afagh
15 Lauderdale Priest 221 (7'3'') C 73 USA Bulgaria
12 Vroman Jackson 208 (6'10'') C/F 81 USA
7 Kamrani Mehdi 181 (5'11'') G 82 Iranian
14 Bahrami Samad 199 (6'7'') G/F 83 Iranian
10 Afagh Hamed 191 (6'3'') G 83 Iranian
9 Kabir Aydin 197 (6'6'') F/G 79 Iranian
11 Sohrabnejad Hamed 206 (6'9'') C/F 83 Iranian
5 Veisi Saman 190 (6'3'') G 82 Iranian
8 Ghariyeh Kaveh 198 (6'6'') F 84 Iranian
13 Rezaei Hooman 208 (6'10'') C 81 Iranian
4 Atashi Mehrad 186 (6'1'') G 86 Iranian
6 Nour-Afza Kaveh 180 (5'11'') G 86 Iranian
President: Ganji Amir Mohammad     
 Manager: Samadzadeh Hamidreza     
 Manager: Izadpanah Homayoun     
 Head Coach: Hashemi Mostafa     
 Assistant: Asbaghi Akbar     
 Assistant: Arezoumandi Ali     

IRI / JOR Samad, Jackson power Mahram to title - May. 20, 2009 
Olympian Samad Nikkah showed the way and American Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) delivered.
That in a nutshell should describe the story of Iranian league winners Mahrams 78-68 triumph over Jordanian champions Zain in the final of the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Wednesday.
This is the happiest moment of my life, beamed Mahram coach Mostafa Hashemi after completing an Iranian three-peat in the Champions Cup. Saba Battery had won the title in 2007 and 2008.
Its a tribute to our teamwork, he said.
Teamwork Mahram certainly needed, a little more than the normal sense too, pitted against a spirited rival.
Zain did do all the running in the first quarter.
Ayman Idais, coming off the bench to replace Ontario Lett, reeled off nine points in a row starting the run with a sizzling three-pointer as Zain turned an 11-14 deficit into a 20-14 advantage. The Jordanian league champions, thus nudged ahead 22-19 at the end of the first quarter.
But Mahram were unperturbed.
It was a matter of getting our plays together. We were not too worried about what they were doing, but more focusing on what we needed to do, Vroman who returned another team-high double-double performance said.
The former New Orleans Hornets player, whom Mahram borrowed from Saba Mehr for this tournament, scored 19 points and collected 10 rebounds.
Samad Nikkah shrugged off an indifferent first quarter as Jackson Vroman began to move around with customary fluency in the second quarter.
Hamed Afagh fired in a three-pointer and Mahdi Kamrani was as industrious as ever as Mahram chipped away at the rivals lead, overtook them and went into the changing rooms 35-33 ahead.
Zain were left playing catch-up after that.
After out-scoring their rivals in the intermittent quarters, Samad stepped up the gas in the fourth.
The Olympian scored eight of his games 18 points in the fourth quarter, but more importantly kept the rival defense on its toes drawing a double-team often to open up the space for Mahrams offensive plays.
Afagh utilized those opportunities the most scoring seven of his games 14 points in the final ten minutes as Mahram consolidated their cause.
Zain withered where Mahram flourished.
That Idais could only add 13 points to his first quarters nine was a case in point for Zains struggle to keep their shooting rate intact.
Ontario Lett who was busier in trying to keep rival center Priest Lauderdale under a leash both the Americans were out with five personal fouls midway through the fourth quarter scored 11 points.
Im happier for the win than the MVP, said Vroman.
All those points would have gone waste if not for the win, said the American.
I think the team that defended better won. You can see that from how low scoring the game was, Vroman added.
FIBA Asia president Sheikh Saud bin Ali Al-Thani gave away the prizes.
Scores
Mahram 78 (Jackson Vroman 22, Samad Nikkah 19, Mahdi Kamrani 14, Hamed Afagh 14) bt Zain 68 (Ayman Idais 22, Mousa Awadi 11, Ontario Lett 11). Quarterwise Scores: 22-19, 35-33, 53-49.
S MageshwaranFIBA Asia

LIB / QAT Riyadi finish third - May. 20, 2009 
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Al Riyadi Beirut improved upon their last years finish in Champions Cup, beating Al Arabi, Qatar 94-81 to bag the bronze medal at the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Wednesday.
Riyadi pulled away with a 16-2 run to close the first quarter 26-12 ahead and never looked back.
American Chris Charles (213-F/C-81, agency: Rice and Rice, college: Villanova) scored 12 of his game-high 24 points and pulled down eight of his again game-high 17 rebounds in the first quarter as Riyadi bettered their last years fourth-place finish at Kuwait.
For Al Arabi, who were playing the Champions Cup after 25 years, it was their best ever placing having finished seventh in the 1984 edition at Kuala Lumpur.
Charles countryman Nate Johnson too contributed a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
It feels nice to go back with a medal, said Al Riyadi coach Fouad Abouchakra.
Considering the conditions of many of our key players, I think this is quite an achievement, Abouchakra said.
I think the boys showed a lot of character. We wanted to give this game to all those guys who have been with us throughout the season, but couldnt play here because of injuries.
FIBA Asia treasurer Mr. Quek Hiang Chiang gave away the medals and the trophy.
Scores
Al Riyadi 94 (Chris Charles 24, Nate Johnson 21, Omar Turk 12, Brian Feghali 12) bt
Al Arabi 81 (Maurice Hargrow 20, Omar Salem 18, Khalid Abdi 14, Ali Ali 12). Quarterwise Scores: 26-12, 58-34, 75-62.FIBA Asia

Mahrams solidity Vs. Zain flair in all-WABA final - May. 19, 2009 
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Can Jordanian league winners Zains combined flair stop WABA champions Mahram from completing an Iranian three-peat at the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Wednesday?
Thats the question thats doing the rounds in the minds of those who have watched the way Mahram have steamrolled their way into the title round with a 6-0 run in the tournament.
Its only logical that Zain, the only other unbeaten team in the Champions Cup will challenge Mahram in the final, but it will take as their coach Mario Palma put it their best to take home the title, which the Jordanians won in Kuwait three years ago under their former nomenclature Fastilink.
Mahram hold a 2-1 edge in the head-to-head meetings, but won the latest encounter 96-85 at the WABA qualifiers for this Champions Cup at Amman (Jordan) exactly two months ago.
The other two clashes between the two have come in the Dubai International with Zain winning their 2008 encounter 78-61 and Mahram the one a year earlier 76-70.
Mahram have added more fire power to their arsenal after that win at Amman, borrowing Jackson Vroman from Saba Mehr for the Champions Cup.
Zain too have changed their line-up bringing in Roderick Riley (210-C-81, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM), college: Prairie View A&M) instead of Michael Christensen thus adding size to their armory.
But coach Mostafa Hashemi didnt read too much into all that.
Its the final game. And I hope everything goes on well, Hashemi said.
They are a very good team and it definitely wont be as easy as it seems, Hashemi said of his rivals for the championship game.
Dont forget an Iranian club has won the tournament the last two years (Mahram fellow Iranian league team Saba Battery were the champions in 2007-08). So the expectations are very high back home, Hashemi added.
Of course, all my players will give more than 100%, said Palma.
They look strong but they wont have it easy, the Portuguese added.
Both the coaches were equivocal in predicting a close game for the final.
We both know our games very well. Itll be a challenge for both, said Palma.
The better team of the day will win, said Hashemi.
Mahram X Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut
Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut took to the court without spearhead Fadi El Khatib, whose back injury recurred, and made it easier for WABA champions Mahram in the first semifinal of the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Tuesday.
Mahram seized control of the game early and went on to hand down a punishing 109-80 defeat on their fellow WABA club.
The Iranian league winners, thus, kept themselves in line for an Iranian three-peat. Saba Battery had won the Champions Cup for the last two years. For Riyadi, it was their second successive defeat at the hands of an Iranian rival in the Champions Cup semifinal, having lost 68-70 to Saba last year at Kuwait.
A 14-0 run, which saw Mahram turn a 6-9 deficit to an overwhelming 20-9 lead midway through the first quarter helped the Mostafa Hashemi-trained club to gain the upper hand in the game.
Samad Nikkah sank two three-pointers and as many off the field in a 50% field scoring rate, effected one steal and two assists to put Mahram in the driving seat.
Samad scored 10 of his games 22 points in the first quarter.
American center Priest Lauderdale the tallest player in the tournament by a distance who was necessary for only 12 minutes average in their previous five wins in the tournament for Mahram, pulled down eight rebounds to steer his team comfortably ahead in the first quarter.
A comfort that only got better as the game progressed.
Lauderdale finished with a game-high 14 rebounds, to go along side his 20 points, as Mahram won the battle of boards 50-38.
Jackson Vroman once again justified his borrowing from Saba Mehr with another game-high performance.
The former New Orleans Hornets player returned 27 points, with a 10/15 record in the field and 7/10 in free-throws.
Riyadi coach Fouad Abouchakra was in an unenviable position.
Forced to play without El Khatib, Abouchakra had another trouble at hand that of point guard Ali Mahmouds strife with a flu.
The Lebanese champions had a woeful period as the game began.
They turned the ball over six times, converted only 5 of their 18 field attempts and managed only one offensive rebound in the first quarter and handed over the initiative to their rivals.
To a rival, who gleefully accepted it.
Hashemi was rather modest about the big win.
I think things fell into place rather well, especially since they were playing without Fadi, Hashemi said.
We still have one more game to go before we reach our goal, Hashemi sounded a word of caution.
The game was lost in the first quarter, conceded Abouchakra.
After that it was just a matter of time.
American Nate Johnson was the leading scorer for Riyadi with 26 points, but had a mere 6/16 record in two-pointers and a 3/7 in long-rangers.
Scores
Mahram 109 (Jackson Vroman 27, Samad Nikkah 22, Priest Lauderdale 20) bt Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut Beirut 80 (Nate Johnson 26, Ali Fakhreddine 14, Mohammad Ibrahim 14). Quarterwise Scores: 26-14, 57-31, 83-55.
Zain X Al Arabi Club
Zain proved the better team on court and emerged a convincing 113-57 victor over Al Arabi Club in the second semifinal of the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Tuesday.
Zain made the final for the first time in three years their last entry into the title round in their former nomenclature as Fastilink landing them the title in 2006 at Kuwait.
Arabi, playing the Champions Cup after 25 years ago will aim for their best ever finish having finished a mere seventh in the 1984 edition at Kuala Lumpur.
After equally-sparred opening moments, Zain pulled away from 6-all with a 10-2 run and never looked back.
That provided us the opening to take the game away, Zain point guard Sam Daghlas.
Mousa Awadis long-ranger from just inside the center-line at the hooter took Zain 52-30 ahead going into the change rooms.
A position from which they never looked back.
Mohammad Hammdans drive down the lane took Zain past the three-figure mark as the Jordanian league champions raced ahead to the biggest win in this years Champions Cup.
It went well, beamed Zain coach Mario Palma.
Zaid Abbas was back on the bench from a flu break, but didnt take to the court.
We didnt want to risk him. Hell play tomorrow, Palma said.
All the other players scored in the mammoth win with American Roderick Riley leading the way with 18 points.
Zain also held a huge 53-35 advantage in the rebounds.
Scores
Zain 113 (Roderick Riley 18, Ayman Idais 15, Sam Daghlas 14, Mohammad Hammdan 13) bt Al Arabi Club (Maurice Hargrow 16, Joshua Jones 14). Quarterwise Scores: 23-15, 52-30, 84-42.

Different Game for Mahram and Al-Riyadi... - May. 18, 2009 
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): The WABA Champion MAHRAM of IRAN which is in FIBA Asia Champions Cup as the Champion of Iran in season 2009, will play in Semi-Final against Al-Riyadi, the Champion of Lebanon in season 2009 and ACC champion of 2009. These teams played together in Preliminary Round but in a completely different condition.
In Preliminary Round game, Mahram played against a team named Al-Riyadi but without their Starting Five like Fadi El Khatib, Chris Charles and Nate Johnson. In that game, Mahram won the match easily BUT fors sure this game will be completely different. In this game, Two Teams are trying to be in Final and also Al-Riyadi will have all of the players so the game will be so nice to watch.
The Comparison between Chris Charles vs Priest Lauderdale - Fadi El Khatib vs Jackson Vroman - Nate Johnson vs Samad Nikkhah Bahrami - mahmoud Ali vs Mehdi Kamrani would be interesting and each one who play better than the other, can change the result for his team.
At the other hand, Zain or Jordan with Roderick Riley, Sam Daghles, Zaid Alkhas, Ontario Lett is going to win Al-Arabi of Qatar to be in Final and try to be Champion of these season.

The WABA-Gulf hegemony continues - May. 17, 2009 

JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): The WABA-Gulf hegemony on the FIBA Asia Champions Cup continued for the 11th year in a row with all the three West Asian teams in fray along with Al Arabi of Qatar making the semifinal grade at the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Sunday.
In the last one decade starting with Lebanese Al Hikmeh-Sagesses back-to-back triumphs in 1999-200 the Champions Cup has been won only by a team from either WABA or the Gulf sub zone, and this year wont be any different.
Tuesdays semifinals after Mondays rest day will feature WABA champions Mahram taking on Lebanese league winners Al Riyadi Beirut, in a repeat of their clash in the last four at the WABA qualifiers in Amman (Jordan) in March. Mahram had won that clash 69-56.
Mahram had also beaten Riyadi in the Group A preliminary round here but then the Lebanese were playing that game without four of their regular starters. Riyadi have won the only other clash between the two WABA giants a 91-83 win in the preliminary round of the WABA qualifiers.
In the semifinal that follows, last years GCC winners Al Arabi of Qatar will match wits with Jordanian league champions Zain, who in their former nomenclature as Fastilink, had won the Champions Cup at the 2006 edition in Kuwait.
Mahram began Sundays quarterfinal proceedings proving too mighty for Indian combination Young Cagers 97-73.
Riyadi, powered by Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency)s return, posted a 86-69 win over hosts Satria Muda.
In the other quarterfinals, Zain came up with a commanding performance to down Korean Army outfit Sangmoo 89-70 and Smart Gilas threatened to break the monopoly before falling to Al Arabi of Qatar 71-76.
El Khatibs return to court, and the resultant rise of Riyadi fortunes, was the cynosure of all eyes and might hold the key to the championship itself.
The Lebanese side raced away 27-18 in the first quarter, with El Khatib scoring 14 points.
Satria cut the lead down to 41-39 when they went into the changing rooms, and Riyadi hit back with their defense for the rest of the game.
Miller, who had led Satrias scoring in the first half with 17 points had only five points in the fourth quarter, in his game high 22 points; and collected eight of his game-high 12 rebounds in the first half.
Riyadi forced seven turnovers, collected 18 rebounds 10 in defense to curtail Satrias scoring rate in the third quarter.
El Khatib, meanwhile, had regained his bearings; Nate Johnson, who had scored only two points in the second quarter to add to his eight in the first came into his own; and Riyadi didnt have to bother too much in the final quarter.
Fadi El Khatib returned a game-high 30 points, with a 16/19 in field, including a three out of four in three-pointers.
Nate Johnson scored 10 points in each half as fellow American Chris Charles returned a double-double. Charles collected five boards in each of the third and fourth quarter, in his game-high 11 rebounds to go with his 12 points.
I think the team came together well in defense in the third quarter, said Abouchakra.
We allowed them to keep close in the first half. We began to defend really well in the third quarter depriving them the space. We also began to guard the base-line well, he added.
Satria Muda coach Fictor Roring said: We did try our best. Just that it was not good enough.
Satria take on Young Cagers in the 5-8 play-offs on Monday.
Young Cagers virtually the National Team, playing in the Champions Cup as a part of the preparations for the 25th FIBA Asia Championship to be held in China later this year were outsized 188.5 cms to 195.42 cms in average height. That difference in size reflected on the proceedings on the court as well as the score-line.
Jackson Vroman, going into the game with a 27.25 PPG average, scored his first field goal only midway through the second quarter a sizzling 3-pointer that took Mahram 44-20 ahead.
But the former New Orleans Hornets player had caused enough damage to the rivals morale before that, earning fouls repeatedly and converting the ensuing free throws.
Vroman played only the first and the fourth quarter in full on court only for 1:55 early in the second yet led the scoring for the team with 22 points.
Its another step towards achieving the target of what we came for here, Mahram assistant coach Ali Arezoomandi said.
Young Cagers Jagdeep Singh led the scoring for the game with 24 points, with 61.5% (8/13) rate on the field.
Im happy that my boys gave their 100% against a very strong team, said Young Cagers coach Aleksandar Bucan said.
Zaid Abbas, on loan from ASU, continued to remain in the medical list, but American center Roderick Riley and point guard Sam Daghles returned to the Zain starting line-up, despite yet to recover fully.
Riley led the Zain charge with a double-double. The former NBA D-League 28-year-old contributed 18 points, but more importantly collected 11 rebounds.
I think the rebounds made a lot of difference, Sangmoo coach Lee Hun Jae said.
Zain won the battle of boards by a whopping 54-26.
Daghles and seasoned campaigner Zaid Alkhas scored 13 points each as Zain coach Mario Palma gave all the available players at least 10 minutes each on the court.
We began well and things fell in place early for us, Palma said.
And it was a good chance for us to rotate the players to keep them fresh for the semifinals, the Portuguese added.
Kyong Suk No, who shared the game-high honors with Riley, converted six of 10 three-pointer attempts for his 18 points.
Sangmoo meet Smart Gilas on Tuesday in the 5-8 play-offs.
Smart Gilas sparkled with their speed and spirit, but against the size of Gulf powerhouse Al Arabi the Filipinos spirit came short.
Arabi, outscored 8-23 by Smart Gilas in the second quarter, began their resurrection towards the end of the third quarter. A 13-0 spree ensued that ran well past the midway mark of the fourth quarter, and Arabi held on for their maiden entry into the Champions Cup semifinals.
Arabis best finish yet in the Champions Cup is the seventh-place they achieved 25 years ago at the 1984 edition at Kuala Lumpur.
Arabi began well and seemed headed to cruise when they closed the first ten minutes 21-12 ahead.
But Mark Barocca came into his own in the second quarter, scoring eight of his 16 points for the game after drawing a blank in the first quarter, to lead a Smart Gilas surge that saw the Filipinos go into the changing room 35-29 ahead.
After an equally sparred initial moments, Arabi seized control as Erfan Saeed and Ali and Ali beginning to combine well with their imports Joshua Jones and Maurice Hargrow put the Qataris in sight of a semifinal place.
Saeed scored 13 of his game-high 20 points, Jones 10 of his 18 points, and Ali Ali 12 of his 17 in the second half.
Starting at 46-52 in the closing moments of the third quarter, Arabi went on to lead 59-52 with 5:40 left in the game, before CJ Giles twin free-throws ended the barren run for Smart Gilas.
I think we came well together in the second half, said Al Arabi coach David Ingham.
I guess we chose the wrong moment to play our worst game in the tournament, rued Smart Gilas coach Toroman Rajkov.
Scores
QUARTERFINALS
Mahram 97 (Jackson Vroman 22, Samad Nikkah 16, Hamed Afagh 14) bt Young Cagers 73 (Jagdeep Singh 24, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 16, Trideep Rai 10). Quarterwise Scores: 31-13, 50-24, 78-50.
Zain 89 (Roderick Riley 18, Sam Daghles 13, Zaid Alkhas 13, Ontario Lett 11, Mousa Awadi 10) bt Sangmoo 70 (Kyong Suk No 18, Beom Chai Park 11, Byung Kook Chung 11). Quarterwise Scores: 22-13, 41-32, 65-44.
Al Riyadi Beirut 86 (Fadi El Khatib 30, Nate Johnson 20, Chris Charles 12, Ali Fakhreddine 10) bt Satria Muda 69 (Rashad Powell 22, Nakiea Miller 22, Rony Gunawan 10). Quarterwise Scores: 27-18, 41-39, 63-46.
Al Arabi 76 (Erfan Saeed 20, Joshua Jones 18, Ali Ali 17, Maurice Hargrow 16) bt Smart Gilas 71 (CJ Giles 20, Mark Barocca 16, Dylan Ababou 12).
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia
For more info only check http://www.basketballfollowers.com

Day 5 - 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup - May. 16, 2009 
By: S Mageshwaran
Source: FIBA Asia

JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): With most of the quarterfinal slots spotted overnight and those assured of progress choosing to preserve their key players, Saturdays proceedings at the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup, to a large extent, was rather predictable.
Hosts Satria Muda Britama Jakarta became the first Indonesian club to enter the quarterfinal stage of the Champions Cup in six years, with a 79-59 win over Young Cagers, India to close their Group B engagements followed by Zains mauling of Al Arabi Club of Qatar 94-62 to take the top place in the Group.
In Group A action, WABA champions Mahram overpowered Korean Army outfit Sangmoo 90-56 to roll into the quarterfinals with an unbeaten record after Smart Gilas enhanced their reputation with a rally-back 98-93 win over Kuwaiti league champions Al Qadsia.
Smart Gilas thus, with a 3-1 record, finished second behind Mahram in Group A.
Qadsia, who have lost all their four outings here, will now play against fellow Gulf rivals Al Wasl of UAE in a play-off for the ninth place.
Playing in front of the largest crowd so far at the Britama Arena after their vice president Mr. Yusuf Kalla opened the proceedings for the day, Satria did give their fans a few jitters, when their Indian opponents scored the first nine points of the game.
I guess the players were a little nervous playing in front of a dignitary, reasoned out Satria coach Fictor Roring.
Nakiea Miller converted a free-throw followed by fellow American Rashad Powells twin success from the foul-line to open the scoring for Satria as the hosts began to find their rhythm.
Young Cagers, who had already booked a place in the play-offs did take the fight to the rival camp, but an indifferent third quarter hampered their chances.
Miller returned another double-double with 33 points and 29 rebounds.
Powell 20 points and seven rebounds.
The hosts out-rebounded their rivals 57-29.
I think we are improving as a team with every game. From now, its one game at a time. And its a play-off situation, anything can happen, said Powell.
I think we played alright especially against their imports, said Young Cagers coach Aleksandar Bucan.
The last time any team from Indonesia had made the last eight grade was in 2003, when Aspac finished seventh at Kuala Lumpur. Satrias previous best finish in the Champions Cup was ninth which they achieved at the 2000 edition at Beirut.
Satria finished second behind Zain, and ahead of Al Arabi Club and Young Cagers.
With a place in the quarterfinal already assured both Al Arabi Club and Zain chose to play percentage basketball and wound up the proceedings, keeping their players fresh for the quarterfinals.
We wanted to keep the team for the quarterfinal, said Arabi coach David Ingham.
We play the Filipinos. Were going to need to do a lot of running. I need all my players in peak shape, said the Australian.
We also tried that once we realized they are not playing full blast, said Zain coach Mario Palma.
With only pride to play for Kuwaiti league champions Al Qadsia showed a lot of guts and gumption in their final Group A game against Smart Gilas.
But as has been their wont in the tournament so far, Smart Gilas, despite playing without of two of their key players rallied in the fourth quarter from a confused position to record a confidence boosting win.
Their defense surprised us in the first two quarters, said Smart Gilas coach Toroman Rajkov.
And it took us time to rework our tactics, especially in the absence of Chris Tiu and CJ Giles, he added.
Even when I took the final time-out my message to the players was we can either die like warriors or die like chickens. Im proud my boys came out warriors, Rajkov said.
Joseph Casio and Marnel Baracel led the Filipino charge. Baracel was 9/10 in field attempts in his 19 points and Casio had 21 points.
We knew were out of the quarterfinals. But we wanted to go out with our heads held high, said Qadsia coach Jordancho Davitkov.
Samad Nikkah didnt even take to the court as Mahram coach Mostafa Hashemi as in the previous three games fielded all the players, each of them for more than 10 minutes at that.
Priest Lauderdale played less than half of the game time, that after not having played the first quarter at all.
Jackson Vroman increased his points tally in the tournament, with yet another game high 22 points.
Scores
Group A
Smart Gilas 98 (Joseph Casio 21, Marnel Baracel 19, Dylan Ababou 16) bt Al Qadsia 93 (Mike Harris 32, Joel Box 21). Quarterwise Scores: 16-31, 46-49, 69-76.

Mahram 90 (Jackson Vroman 22, Mehrad Atashi 14, Mahdi Kamrani 12) bt Sangmoo 56 (Byung Kyook Chung 13, Jung Kyu Chun 11). Quarterwise Scores: 22-13, 44-25, 69-35.
Group B

Satria Muda Britama Jakarta 79 (Nakiea Miller 33, Rashad Powell 20) bt Young Cagers 59 (Trideep Rai 18, Jagdeep Singh 18). Quarterwise Scores: 14-15, 31-30, 59-41.
Zain 94 (Wesam Sous (181-G-83) 18, Enver Soobzokov 14, Roderick Riley 14, Mousa Awadi 11, Zaid Alkhas 10) bt Al Arabi Club 62 (Erfan Saeed 17, Khalid Abdi 11, Ali Ali 11). Quarterwise Scores: 20-19, 40-35, 70-47.

Day 4 Round-Up: 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup - May. 15, 2009 
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Indonesian champions Satria Muda, Young Challengers of India and Smart Gilas of Philippines induced an air of refreshing change to the monotony of results scoring upset, but well deserving, wins over their more fancied opponents on the fourth day of the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Friday.
Young Challengers brought the curtain down on a day when only Mahram survived the carnage of fancied teams with an 82-76 win over last editions bronze medalists Al Wasl of UAE.
Smart Gilas played with a lot of speed and showed a lot of spunk in beating Lebanese league champions Al Riyadi Beirut 91-86 in Group A.
Interestingly, the coaches of both Smart Gilas and Young Challengers incidentally both Serbians Toroman Rajkov and Aleksandar Bucan had both asserted on the eve of the championship that their teams were here to gain more experience and exposure.
Both the teams exceeded their coachs expectations by booking a place in the quarterfinals.
Satria rode on birthday boy Nakiea Millers stupendous show under the board to beat Al Arabi of Qatar 84-77 to improve their position in Group B.
Smart Gilas are now 2-1 in Group A and take on Kuwaiti league winners Al Qadsia on Saturday. Riyadi wound up their preliminary round engagements 2-2.
Qadsia, were steamrolled by WABA champions Mahram 110-80 in the other Group A game on Saturday. Mahram, having won all their three games now take on Koreas Sangmoo.
Young Challengers scored the final four points against an undefended goal, with Wasl throwing in the towel protesting against a 24-second violation non-ruling.
It would have mattered if we were trailing and won the game just because of those two baskets. Since we were already leading and the rivals protested for no mistake of ours, I will accept the win gleefully, said Young Challengers coach Aleksandar Bucan.
Punjab Police center Jagdeep Singh led the Young Challengers charge with 22 points and eight rebounds.
I think we got our combination going rather well especially in the second and third quarters, Jagdeep said.
We basically came here to gain some experience for the FIBA Asia championship. This win is a big bonus for us, Bucan said.
It showed that the boys have the ability to translate their hard work in training into game situations, the Serbian added.
If this win takes us into the quarterfinals, we will be much richer by experience, Bucan said.
The win left Young Challengers tied with Satria Muda with a 1-2 record from three outings. The two clash on Saturday.
American Chukwunike Okusa led the scoring for the game with 29 points and 15 rebounds to lead Wasls challenge.
Wasl, who wound up their four games in preliminary round with a 1-3 record are left hoping Young Challengers beat Satria to make the last eight grade.
Satria had their hero in Nakiea Miller.
The American who turned 31 today, accounted for 23 points alright, but more importantly as acclaimed by the two rival coaches made the difference in the game with his 21 rebound collections. That 14 of them came in defense spoke for his contribution in checking the Arabi scoring.
My man here stood really tall under the board, Arabi coach David Ingham said.
Happy birthday to him!
Im glad we picked Miller from the list of choice we had, said Satria coach Fictor Roring.
Rashad Powell also returned a double-double with 20 points and 12 boards.
I think we beat them in free-throws and rebounds, Miller said.
Satria were 12/14 as against Arabis 11/24 in free throws.
The hosts won the battle of boards 53-45.
Smart Gilas seized the initiative with a 9-0 run early in the game for a 17-6 lead and kept growing in confidence and scoring as the game progressed.
CJ Giles scored eight of his 20 points in the final quarter, after his return from an injury scare in the third quarter. Giles also collected 11 boards for the game.
Not bad at all for a team that came to gain experience, chuckled Rajkov.
Its indeed a great result for us. Yesterday (against Mahram), we showed we had the toughness to play big teams and today we translated that into a winning result. It certainly is very positive step ahead for us, said Rajkov.
Christian Charles returned to the Riyadi starting five with a double-double (21 points and 12 boards).
Fellow American Nate Johnson, who was not fielded on Thursday top scored the game with 43 points. But there was hardly any support from the rest.
I think this was their win more than our loss, said Riyadi coach Fouad Abouchakra.
They came hard at us and dictated the pace right from the beginning and we fell into their trap, he added.
Mahram led the Qadsia throughout and stepped up the gas with a 16-3 run in the final three minutes of the second quarter.
Jackson Vroman, on loan from Saba Mehr for this championship, was once again in roaring form with 32 points, sharing the scoring honors for the game with Samad Nikkah.
Hamed Afagh and Mahdi Kamrani, Samads teammates on the Iranian National Team at the Beijing Olympics last year accounted for 11 points apiece.
It was a good game for us, but I think we can do a lot better in our defense, Vroman said in a sign of a team thats looking to improve all the time.
I think we are giving away too many points in the first quarter. We can do a lot better in our transition defense and also improve our defensive rebounds, the 27-year-old former New Orleans Hornets forward said.
Qadsia coach Jordancho Davitkov, Against such a strong team, it was a matter of time when they would pull away.
We managed to remain in contention for about 17 minutes, which is a positive Ill take from this game. Especially because we are here without three of our main players, the Macedonian former Yugoslav player said.
Scores
Group A
Smart Gilas 91 (Mark Barocca 28, CJ Giles 20, Dylan Ababou 17) bt Al Riyadi Beirut 86 (Nate Johnson 43, Christian Charles 21). Quarterwise scores: 26-15, 49-34, 65-65.
Mahram 120 (Jackson Vroman 32, Samad Nikkah 32, Priest Lauderdale 12, Hamed Afagh 11, Mahdi Kamrani 11) bt Al Qadsia 80 (Abdulaziz Mohammad 17, Joel Box 14). Quarterwise Scores: 33-27, 58-42, 90-58.
Group B
Satria Muda 84 (Rony Gunawan 24, Nakiea Miller 23, Rashad Powell 20) bt Al Arabi 77 (Maurice Hargrow 21, Erfan Saeed 15, Ali Ali 15, Joshua Jones 13). Quarterwise Scores: 25-23, 46-41, 59-61.
Young Challengers 82 (Jagdeep Singh 22, Talwinderjit Singh 14, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi 12) bt Al Wasl 76 (Chukwunike Okusa 29, Herve Lamizana 16).
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia

Zain of Jordan achived its third victory - May. 15, 2009 
Zain Jordan has achieved its third win in a row came at the expense of Satria Muda Indonesia 84-71 (quarters 23-16 and 17-17 and 23-16 and 21-22) Thursday in the third round of Group B in the Asian club championship for basketball.
Zine and strengthened his lead on the group after his qualification to the second round, after dominating from the outset thanks to Moussa Al Awadi (12 points), and U.S. bilateral Antirio Leyte (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Rodrigue Riley (12 points, 9 rebounds), which emerged from the losing team Americans Nakia Miller (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Rashad Powell (16 points, 7 rebounds), in addition to Ganaoan Rooney (13 points) and Oinda Wijaya (7 points and 5 assists) and Faisal Julius (10 points).
In the same group, the resolution of the Arab summit with the country focal UAE easily overcome after the final margin 18 points, 97-79 (quarters 23-17 and 28-19 and 23-23 and 23-20), achieving its second victory in a row means that the match with Zain in the last round will be on the top of the group considered to be the next face will be easy in front of the host Satria.
The performance of the country team Americans Joshua Jones (38 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists) and Hargro Morris (15 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists), an addendum to Irfan Saeed (13 points, 13 rebounds) and Khaled Suleiman (16 points, 8 rebounds), while the Nigerian Regih Ookosa Ivory Coast and Herve Amesana loser among the best (21 points each with 6 rebounds for the first and the second, 11), along with Khalifa Shaiba (15 points).
In the first set, the resolution of the Iranian Mehram face summit with the Lebanese sports victory 87-61 (quarters 29-12 and 24-15 and 14-17 and 20-17) started the match in the loser coach Fouad Abou Chakra range of the second row after his team qualify for the second round.
He beat Mehram team after he was 69-56 in the semi-finals of the West Asian Clubs Championship in Amman, achieving its second victory, with me sporting defeat compared to the first two wins, leaving the top of the group but the Iranian team has more games.
It concludes with sports games in this group to meet Gelass Smart Philippines, which is expected to be a champion of Lebanon to fight very seriously to ensure second place behind a strong candidate Mehram to climb the top.
the coach Fouad Abou Chakra started with a match involving the name of Balaa Fahd, Muhammad Ibrahim, Abdullah Yahya Hijazi, and then to push the patient's age-Turk and thus the entire meeting, he had six players, while the associate coach of Iran Mostafa Hashemi basic structure, consisting of Americans Brest Lauder Dale Jackson and the rest of the Iranians and the international Nikkha Samad Bahrami, Mehdi Hamid Avag Kamrani and Islamic.
He played for the Dale Lauder (13 points, 6 assists) 11 minutes, equal on points with fellow Jackson Froman, who played 23 minutes, as if Johan Ridai which also has 10 rebounds, compared with 12 points, Hamid Avag Muslim.
In the sports set up the game suitable for the emergence of Yehya Sabra, who scored 20 points with 12 rebounds and Ronny Fahed added 14 points.
In the same group, missed Qadsia victory was in hand before Sangmo South Korea and missed the golden opportunity for the same round after losing the second game 66-69 (quarters 18-20 and 16-19 and 18-7 and 14-23).
The Kuwaiti team was ahead 8 points (6658), but failed to score any points in the last three minutes at a time when the Koreans took advantage of it and scored 11 consecutive points.
Once a new Korean team has benefited from the skill players in the payment from outside the arc triangles scored 10, including 4 is Yang Jong (26 points) and three Bong Soo Kim (14 points, 9 rebounds).
On the other side, it was Michael Harris (22 points, 15 rebounds) among the best in the Qadisiyah along with Ahmed Ibrahim (20 points, 9 rebounds) and other American Jewel Box (11 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists).

Samer Al- halabi

Day 3 - 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup - May. 14, 2009 
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Korean Army outfit Sangmoo outscored their opponents 18-8 in the final five minutes and eked out a 69-66 win over Kuwaiti league champions Al Qadsia in a pivotal Group A game at the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Thursday.
In another Group A game, an injury-ridden Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut Beirut fielded only their bench for the entire duration and Mahram raced way to an 87-61 win.
In Group B action, Jordanian league champions Zain overpowered their Indonesian counterparts Satria Muda Britama Jakarta 84-71 and Al Arabi Club of Qatar defeated their fellow Gulf rivals Al Wasl for the first time in three meetings with a 97-78 win.
Guard Hee Jong Yang, with a 66.67% success rate in field, including a 4/6 record in three-pointer attempts, led Sangmoos scoring with a game-high 26 points nine of them coming in the final five minutes.
Qadsia scored the first seven points of the game, but struggled thereafter with their offensive rhythm and trailed for the entire first half.
The Kuwaiti club seemed to have found their bearings, when they managed a six-point lead going into the final ten minutes.
Qadsia stretched that lead to 58-51 with 5:13 left, when Sangmoo unleashed their final blow and raced away to their maiden win.
Our offense let us down, said Qadsia coach Jordancho Davitkov.
Qadsias American import Mike Harris scored only two of his team-high 22 points in the final quarter and Ahmad Albrahim only three of his 20 points.
Obviously Im very happy with the result, said Sangmoo coach Lee Hun Jae.
More importantly, I thought we were a lot organized, especially when we trailing at the end of the third quarter, he added.
Sangmoo, who had lost both their previous outings to Smart Gilas and Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut thus bounced back into contention for a place in the quarterfinals.
Al Qadsia, who had lost to Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut in their opening game, now face the daunting task of needing to win either of their two remaining games against the mighty Mahram or the speedy Smart Gilas to remain in the race for a place in the play-offs.
Four of Riyadis starters were down with injury and sickness.
Christian Charles and Fadi El Khatib were ruled out as of Wednesday and Ali Fakhreddine (knee) and Brian Feghali (flu) joined them in the hospital list. El Khatib and Feghali didnt even make it to the venue.
Coach Fouad Abouchakra decided to rest Nate Johnson the only fit starter thus providing an opportunity for his bench to start the game.
Whats the point in tiring only him out, Abouchakra justified his decision.
We need to preserve ourselves in order to stay long in the tournament, he said.
Fadi can play only in the semifinals, if we make it. As for the others, youll see them once they are ready. I hope it happens sooner than later.
Abouchakra found symphathy from counterpart Mostafa Hashemi.
I feel really sorry for the coach (Abouchakra), Hashemi said.
I hope their players can get fully fit and the two teams meet again. Only then it will be a complete championship for us, he added.
Riyadi, who had beaten Koreas Sangmoo and Kuwaits Al Qadsia in their first two games, thus suffered their first defeat, and take on Smart Gilas on Friday before Mahrams clash with Al Qadsia.
Having lost both their previous encounters against Wasl both the defeats coming in the GCC, including 69-84 defeat two weeks ago Arabi looked a charged up lot.
American Joshua Jones (196-G/F-83, college: Dillard), who was inducted in their ranks after the GCC justified the faith with a game high 38 points.
Seasoned campaigner Erfan Saeed produced a double-double with 13 points and as many rebounds.
Khalid Abdi converted four of his five three-pointer attempts in 16 points and Maurice Hargrow Jones American compatriot had 16 ppints.
For Wasl, their imports American Chukwunike Okusa and Ivorian Herve Lamizana justified their inclusion. Both had 21 points.
Al Arabi Club had defeated Young Challengers of India in their opening game on Wednesday. Al Wasl, who are now 1-2 in Group B, take on Young Challengers on the morrow after Arabis clash with hosts Satria Muda Britama Jakarta.
Zain raced ahead 23-16 in the first ten minutes and never looked back as all the players barring center Jamal Almaayatah got a feel of the court.
American Ontario Lett returned a double-double with a game-high 12 rebounds to strengthen his team-high 16 points.
Mousa Awadi and Roderick Riley chipped in with 12 points each. Mohammad Hammdan spent the least time on court, but all the others who played entered their name in the Zain scoresheet.
It was not as easy as it looked, said Zain assistant coach Robert Taylor.
I think our style of playing power won us the game today, Taylor said.
As expected imports Nakiea Miller and Rashad Powell were the leaders of the hosts pack.
Miller, returning to full presence from a painful ankle led the scoring for the game with 20 points and also collecting 10 rebounds.
Powell returned 16 points.
We knew we had no chance against their size, Satria coach Fictor Roring said.
They were better than us in all respects experience, talent and scoring. What Im really happy about is that my players gave their 100%. Thats a huge bonus for us, he added.
Zains third win on the trot left them perched firmly on top of the group. Satria, who lost to UAEs Al Wasl on the opening day, have thus lost both their outings.
Zain have a break on Friday and take on Al Arabi Club on Saturday, in a clash which possibly could decide the Group B toppers.
Scores
Group A
Sangmoo 69 (Hee Jong Yang 26, Bong Su Kim 14, Gu Young Park 10) bt Al Qadsia 66 (Mike Harris 22, Ahmad Albrahim 20). Quarterwise Scores: 20-18, 39-34, 46-52.
Mahram 87 (Jackson Vroman 13, Priest Lauderdale 13, Hooman Rezae 13) bt Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut 61 (Sabra Yehya 20, Rony Fahed 14). Quarterwise Scores: 29-12, 53-27, 67-44.
Group B

Zain 84 (Ontario Lett 16, Mousa Awadi 12, Roderick Riley 12) bt Satria Muda Britama Jakarta 71 (Nakiea Miller 20, Rashad Powell 16, Rony Gunawan 13). Quarterwise Scores: 23-16, 40-33, 64-49.
Al Arabi Club 97 (Joshua Jones 38, Khalid Abdi 16, Maurice Hargrow 14, Erfan Saeed 13) bt Al Wasl 79 (Chukwunike Okusa 21, Herve Lamizana 21, Khalifa Katoot 15). Quarterwise Scores: 23-17, 51-36, 74-59.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia

FIBA Asia Day 2 Round-Up: 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup - May. 13, 2009 
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): WABA champions Mahram of Iran started off slow, but steadily grew in strength and busted the enthusiastic bubble of Smart Gilas for a 98-87 to open their campaign in the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on a winning note on Wednedsay.
Smart Gilas, who defeated Sangmoo on the opening day, thus suffered their first defeat in Group A.
In another Group A game, Al Riyadi Beirut of Lebanon posted their second win in as many days, with a rather comfortable 97-86 result over Koreas Sangmoo alright, but were left with huge fears over spearhead Fadi El Khatibs availability for the rest of the Champions Cup.
In Group B action, Al Arabi of Qatar opened their campaign in style handing down a 88-63 defeat to Indias Young Challengers and Jordans Zain stopped Al Wasl of UAE in their tracks with a 84-65 win.
Mahrams American forward Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) who played a stellar role for Saba Mehr at the WABA qualifiers played all the 40 minutes of the game, and deservingly led the game in scoring as well as rebounds.
The 27-year-old former New Orleans Hornets player returned 42 points, with a 69% (16/23) success rate in field attempts, and collected 13 rebounds
Priest Lauderdale, the other NBA alumnus in Mahram ranks, played only the first half of the game, but during his presence proved tall enough for his 16 points and 11 boards.
Samad Nikkah, the captain of the Iran National Team at the Beijing Olympics last year, celebrated his return to the FIBA Asia mould with 19 points all of them in the second half and eight assists.
Smart Gilas, on the other hand, had an all-round attack.
Mark Barocca was the leader in scoring with 18 points and American import Chester Giles contributed 14 points as the Filipino developmental team kept their more fancied opponents on their toes for almost the entire first half.
Im very proud of the way my boys played, said Smart Gilas coach Toroman Rajkov, under whose training Iran won the 2007 FIBA Asia championship and subsequently the 2008 Olympics.
Im in no way disappointed with our performance. The boys showed we have the attitude to play big opposition without any fear, the Serbian said.
We were caught completely off guard by their speed. We had to make a couple of changes in our thinking, Mahram coach Mostafa Hashemi said about resting Lauderdale for the second half.
We are yet getting used to the condition. And their speed unsettled us. I hope we can learn from this and improve as the tournament progresses, Hashemi said.
Al Riyadi are the next opponents for both Mahram on the morrow and Smart Gilas, on Friday.
Riyadi, thus, have their task cut out.
Riyadi took to the court without their American center Christian Charles, who injured his knee during their opening-game win against Al Qadsia.
And the Lebanese clubs woes just compounded when El Khatib lasted all of 4:34, forced out of the rest of the game with an injured back.
Our team doctor has his hands full, Riyadi coach Fouad Abouchakra said.
Well take a rain check on Charles situation tomorrow morning to decide the further course of action in our planning.
Right now, its rather scary, the coach said about El Khatibs condition.
But Im confident that our boys wont go down without a fight, Abouchakra said.
Nate Johnson was the leader of the Riyadi pack with 37 points, with a staggering 87.5 % rate (14/16) in field attempts. The American also collected eight rebounds.
Ali Fakhreddine chipped in with 17 points and a game-high 10 boards.
Hee Jong Young led Sangmoos scoring as well rebounds with 20 points and nine collections. Jung Kyu returned 15 points.
Sangmoo take on Al Qadsia of Kuwait on Thursday.
A 17-0 spree that ran on either side of the third quarter break helped Zain to cut loose from an equal position and down Al Wasl.
Having ran close throughout hitherto, Ayman Idais scored in the lane to follow-up Mousa Awadis three-pointer to take Zain from 50-50 to close the third quarter 55-50 ahead.
Idais, on resumption, consolidated the Jordanian position with back-to-back three-pointers and Wesam Alsoos struck another long-ranger before American Roderick Riley succeeded.
Rileys compatriot Ontario Lett scored on the paint for Zain before Chukwunke Okusa converted one of the free-throws to break the barren run for Wasl.
Zains stranglehold on the fourth quarter continued as they outscored their opponents 29-15 in the final ten minutes to clinch their second successive win.
Lett led the scoring for Zain with 16 points and Idais 13, with a 3/3 record in three-pointers. Alsoos returned 12 points.
I think we won the game in defense, Zain coach Mario Palma said.
Herve Lamizana, who scored 37 points in Wasls win against Satria Muda on Tuesday was restricted to a mere six points.
Zain, next play hosts Satria Muda on Thursday.
Wasl, who had beaten Sangmoo on the opening day, take on Al Arabi.
Al Arabi made a triumphant return after 25 years they had last played in the 1984 edition at Ipoh with their import Joshua Jones leading the way with 37 points.
It was a nice way to lead into the tournament, Al Arabi coach David Ingham said.
Im happy we didnt lose focus midway. These games are always difficult. This is a testing time for the coach as well as the players.
Im really not worried about the result, said Young Challengers coach Aleksandar Bucan.
I wanted some specific improvements in some specific areas for some specific players. And that was achieved. Im happy with that, the Serbian added.
Scores
Group A
Mahram 98 (Jackson Vroman 42, Samad Nikkah 19, Priest Lauderdale 16) bt Smart Gilas 87 (Mark Barocca 18, Chester Giles 14, Dylan Ababou 11, Marnel Baracel 11). Quarterwise Scores: 16-24, 44-46, 72-63.
Al Riyadi Beirut 97 (Nate Johnson 37, Ali Fakhreddine 17, Brian Feghali 11) bt Sangmoo 86 (Hee Jong Yang 20, Jung Kyu Chun 15, Bong Kyu Sun 12). Quarterwise Scores: 30-17, 56-38, 77-66.
Group B
Al Arabi 88 (Joshua Jones 38, Khalid Abdi 19) bt Young Challengers 63 (Talwinderjit Singh 20, Jagdeep Singh 17). Quarterwise Scores: 21-12, 45-25, 88-63.
Zain 84 (Ontario Lett 16, Ayman Idais 13, Wesam Alsoos 12) bt Al Wasl 65 (Chukwunike Okusa 22, Jassim Muhammed 12). Quarterwise Scores: 19-17, 34-30, 55-50
S MageshwaranFIBA Asia

QAT / IND Arabi off to a flying start - May. 13, 2009 
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Returning to the Champions Cup after a quarter of century, Al Arabi of Qatar got off to a flying start in the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup with a whirlwind 88-63 win over Young Challengers of India on Wednesday.
American Joshua Jones, playing his first competitive for the club top scored the game with 37 points.
Khalid Abdi was 8/10 in field attempts, including two three-pointers, and chipped in 19 points.
It was a nice way to lead into the tournament, Al Arabi coach David Ingham said.
Im happy we didnt lose focus midway. These games are always difficult. This is a testing time for the coach as well as the players.
Im really not worried about the result, said Young Challengers coach Aleksandar Bucan.
I wanted some specific improvements in some specific areas for some specific players. And that was achieved. Im happy with that, the Serbian added.
Scores
Al Arabi 88 (Joshua Jones 38, Khalid Abdi 19) bt Young Challengers 63 (Talwinderjit Singh 20, Jagdeep Singh 17). Quarterwise Scores: 21-12, 45-25, 88-63.FIBA Asia

IRI / PHI Mahram wake up slow, but steady and strong - May. 13, 2009 

JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): WABA champions Mahram started off slow, but steadily grew in strength and busted the enthusiastic bubble of Smart Gilas for a 98-87 to open their campaign in the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on a winning note on Wednedsay.
Smart Gilas, who defeated Sangmoo on the opening day, thus suffered their first defeat.
American forward Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.), MVP at WABA qualifiers when he donned the Saba Mehr colors, played all the 40 minutes of the game, and deservingly led the game in scoring as well as rebounds.
The 27-year-old former New Orleans Hornets player returned 42 points, with a 69% (16/23) success rate in field attempts, and collected 13 rebounds
Priest Lauderdale, the other NBA alumnus in Mahram ranks, played only the first half of the game, but during his presence proved tall enough for his 16 points and 11 boards.
Samad Nikkah, the captain of the Iran National Team at the Beijing Olympics last year, celebrated his return to the FIBA Asia mould with 19 points all of them in the second half and eight assists.
Smart Gilas, on the other hand, had an all-round attack.
Mark Barocca was the leader in scoring with 18 points and American import Chester Giles contributed 14 points as the Filipino developmental team kept their more fancied opponents on their toes for almost the entire first half.
Smart Gilas led the first quarter 24-16 and the first half 46-44, but against the more experienced Mahram the Filipino youngsters fell short in terms of the figures on the scoreboard.
Im very proud of the way my boys played, said Smart Gilas coach Toroman Rajkov, under whose training Iran won the 2007 FIBA Asia championship and subsequently the 2008 Olympics.
Im in no way disappointed with our performance. They showed we have the attitude to play big opposition without any fear, the Serbian said.
In my opinion, Mahram is the team to beat for championship here. Therefore, keeping them under pressure for almost the entire game is an achievement for us.
Rajkovs received compliments from his Mahram counterpart, Mostafa Hashemi.
They really scared us. Full marks to Toroman, Hashemi said.
We were caught completely off guard by their speed. We had to make a couple of changes in our thinking, Hashemi said about resting Lauderdale for the second half.
We are yet getting used to the condition. And their speed unsettled us. I hope we can learn from this and improve as the tournament progresses, Hashemi said.
Scores
Mahram 98 (Jackson Vroman 42, Samad Nikkah 19, Priest Lauderdale 16) bt Smart Gilas 87 (Mark Barocca 18, Chester Giles 14, Dylan Ababou 11, Marnel Baracel 11). Quarterwise Scores: 16-24, 44-46, 72-63.
S MageshwaranFIBA Asia

LIB / KOR Riyadi down Sangmoo, but left with injury scares - May. 13, 2009 

JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Al Riyadi Beirut posted their second win in as many days, with a rather comfortable 97-86 result over Sangmoo alright, but were left with huge fears over spearhead Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) s availability for the rest of the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
Riyadis worries in fact began last night, when their American center Christian Charles injured his knee during their opening-game win against Al Qadsia.
Charles didnt take to the court at all against Sangmoo. And coach Fouad Abouchakras woes just compounded when El Khatibs lasted all of 4:34, forced out of the rest of the game with an injured back.
Our team doctor has his hands full, Abouchakra said after the game.
Well take a rain check on Charles situation tomorrow morning to decide the further course of action in our planning.
Riyadi take on archrivals Mahram on the morrow and the Toroman Rajkov-trained Smart Gilas on Friday.
Right now, its rather scary, the coach said about El Khatibs condition.
But Im confident that our boys wont go down without a fight, Abouchakra said.
In fact, we have been plagued by injuries throughout the season. Yet we managed to win the Lebanese league and the Arab Championships. I hope the boys can show the same spirit here too.
Nate Johnson was the leader of the Riyadi pack with 37 points, with a staggering 87.5 % rate (14/16) in field attempts. The American also collected eight rebounds.
Ali Fakhreddine chipped in with 17 points and a game-high 10 boards.
Hee Jong Young led Sangmoos scoring as well rebounds with 20 points and nine collections. Jung Kyu returned 15 points.
Im happy we improved from yesterday, Sangmoo coach Lee Hun Jae said.
As a team we combined a lot better and I hope this continues.
Scores
Al Riyadi Beirut 97 (Nate Johnson 37, Ali Fakhreddine 17, Brian Feghali 11) bt Sangmoo 86 (Hee Jong Yang 20, Jung Kyu Chun 15, Bong Kyu Sun 12). Quarterwise Scores: 30-17, 56-38, 77-66.
S MageshwaranFIBA Asia

Day 1 - 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup - May. 12, 2009 
* Tuesday 12/5:
S Mageshwaran
Source: FIBA Asia
# Group A:
Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut (LEB) X Al Qadsia (KUW)
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Lebanese champions Al Riyadi Beirut found their wonted rhythm in the final quarter and raced away to an 87-78 victory over Kuwait league winners Al Qadsia in a Group A encounter at the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup at the Britama Arena on Tuesday.
American Nate Johnson (199-F-77, college: Louisville) top scored the game with 28 points, 12 of them coming in the final quarter, to power the Riyadi charge.
Spearhead Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79) was patchy and lackluster, yet returned 20 points, including four three-pointers.
Ali Mahmoud (182-G-83) was the most impressive shooter for Riyadi with a 6/10 record in field attempts. Mahmouds back-to-back three-pointers midway through fourth quarter clinched the issue for his side.
Abdulaziz Mohammad played an ideal foil to his imported colleague Mike Harris, but their collective effort fell short for Al Qadsia.
Harris returned 24 points and led the game in rebound with 14 collections as the two teams shared the honors with 48 boards each.
We did struggle to get our rhythm going, said Riyadi coach Fuad Abou Chakra .
There are a lot of reasons. One of course, is the 20-hour-plus travel. Also we are coming from a long season (Riyadi emerged as champions at the Arab Club Championship, which concluded in Beirut last Wednesday). But then I am happy to start with a win, Abouchakra said.
Its a tough and long tournament. We hope to improve as the tournament progresses, he said.
El Khatib said: Its always nice start a championship with a win, no matter how hard it is.
This is the third team Riyadi is playing in the Champions Cup. (Riyadi finished fourth in the last edition and third in the 1998 edition at Kuala Lumpur). And this time around we are determined to win the Champions Cup.
Therefore, we are looking at moving to the next level of our game with every engagement. Well analyze and rectify our mistakes as we go along.
I think we kept them close for 37 minutes. Thats an achievement considering the status of the two teams, Al Qadsia coach Jordanco Davitkov said.
We are struggling without three of our main players. And we were playing a team gunning for the championship. If you were to look at todays game against that background, I think we achieved quite a lot, the former Yugoslav said.
Scores
Al Riyadi Beirut 87 (Nate Johnson 28, Fadi El Khatib 20, Al Mahmoud 16, Brian Feghali 13) bt bt Al Qadsia 78 (Michael Harris (198-F-83, college: Rice) 24, Abdulaziz Mohammad 21, Joel Box (205-C-84, college: Quincy) 12). Quarterwise Scores: 22-18, 40-42, 59-58.
Smart Gilas (PHI) X Sangmoo (KOR)
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Smart Gilas Philippines began with much gusto, grew in confidence as the game progressed before tightening noose with a final blitz to outplay Sangmoo, Korea 90-76 in Group A of the 20th FIBA Asia Champion Cup on Tuesday.
Home-grown guard Andy Mark led the Filipino barrage with a game-high 20 points, with support coming from American import C.J. Giles (211-F/C-85, college: Oregon St.), with 19 points.
Mark had an impressive 83.3% return from his field attempts, finding success on 10 ten occasions, out of 12 tries.
Giles chipped in defensively too, collecting a game-high12 rebounds, as Smart Gilas took a decisive step towards a place in the quarterfinals from Group A.
This game was more or less a knock-out for us as far as entering the quarterfinals is concerned, said Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman.
But Rajkov, who gained iconic status after steering Iran to the Beijing Olympics by winning the FIBA Asia championship title two years ago, didnt read too much about the considerable difference in victory margin.
I think we got our rhythm going rather well. I was rather happy the way we forced turn overs, especially in the second half, the Serbian said.
A lot of teams will struggle getting used to the ball and the floor. I am glad we didnt have to struggle for long, on that account, Rajkov said.
Twenty-four-year old Christopher Tiu, who returned a double-digit 11 points on his international debut was rather excited.
We are aware we have a long way to go. But then its thrilling to contribute to the teams win on your debut, Tiu said.
This is the first time the team is playing together. Well learn from every game, said Sangmoo coach Lee Hun Jae.
Smart Gilas 90 (Andy Mark 20, Chester Giles 19, Marnel Baracel 14, Joseph Casio 11, Christopher Tiu 11) bt Sangmoo 76 (Tae Soo Joo 18, Byung Kook Chung 16). Quarterwise Scores: 22-19, 40-35, 69-58.
# Group B:
Al Wasl (UAE) X Satria Muda Britama Jakarta (INA)
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Satria Muda Britama Jakarta of Indonesia bustled with energy, playing on their home court Britama Arena, right through their Group B encounter against UAEs Al Wasl on Tuesday.
But Al Wasl, who last year became the first Emirian club to win a medal when they won the bronze, rallied together at the crucial junctures and managed an 83-78 win.
Ivorian Herve Lamizana (208-F/C-81, college: Rutgers) was the most active player, on either side, with a staggering 37 points reflecting his overwhelming presence, on the court.
Lamizana also collected eight boards, but another import Nigerian Reggie Okosa (205-F/C-80, agency: Passing Lane, college: La Salle) took the rebound honors with 12 collections to go with his 12 points.
Import Rashad Powell (198-G-81, college: Idaho) was the leader of the host challenge, with 27 points, six boards and three assists. Fellow American Nakiea Miller (204-C-79, college: Iona) chipped in with 23 points.
Its not easy playing the first game, that too against the home team, said Al Wasl coach Abdul Hameed Ibrahim.
Wasl allowed Satria to bounce back on two occasions, towards the end of both the halfs.
Its yet the first game. We are not in full flow, Ibrahim said.
Al Wasl captain Khalifa Katoot who returned a 15 point game, echoed his coachs opinion.
Last year we were the surprise medalists. Theres a pressure on us. Its probably that combined with the first game blues, Katoot said. Im happy to come back with a win.
Satria coach Fictor Gideon Roring attributed the defeat to his sides inexperience against teams from outside the region.
I think the boys, especially the local players, were rather nervous to start with. And against a team which has rich experience, that proved costly, Roring said.
We started a little flat, I guess, said Powell.
We picked up rather well in the second and third quarter. We should have started like that, he added.
But then, this was our (his and Millers) first game with the team. We have had a couple of practices, but a game is a game. I hope we can improve in our next game, Powell said.
Luckily, we have a break tomorrow. So we can work a lot more, he said.
Scores
Al Wasl 83 (Herve Lamizana 37, Rashed Alzaabi 16, Khalifa Katoot 15, Reggie Okosa 12) bt Satria Muda Britama Jakarta 78 (Rashad Powell 27, Nakiea Miller 23). Quarterwise Scores: 25-18, 41-38, 66-56
Zain (JOR) X Young Cagers (IND)
JAKARTA (FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Jordanian powerhouse Zain packed too many punches to pulverize Young Challengers, India 90-59 in Group B of the 20th FIBA Asia Champions Cup on Tuesday.
Roderick Riley (210-C-81, agency: Elfus-Siegel Management (ESM), college: Prairie View A&M) led an all-round scoring show for Zain with 13 points, to go along side his 12 rebounds.
Ontario Lett (198-F-79, agency: BrezoPro, college: Pittsburgh) and Mohammad Hamdan (201-F-84) chipped in with 12 points apiece.
Zain coach Mario Leonel Palma , after his side seized a comfortable lead, used all his 12 players, with all of them on the court for more than nine minutes.
We thought to get all the players a feel of the court, said Palma.
Trideep Rai was the leading scorer for India with 13 points.
Scores
Zain 90 (Roderick Riley 13, Ontario Lett 12, Mohammad Hamdan 12) bt Young Challengers 59 (Trideep Rai 13). Quarterwise Scores: 24-13, 48-30, 75-38.

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