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Ahmad Madwar

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Muharraq seize finals lead - Jul 12, 2012


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EUROBASKET NEWS
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MUHARRAQ will enter game four of the best-of-five Zain Bahrain Basketball League finals series with a crucial 2-1 lead over 17-time champions Al Ahli following their 70-61 victory in the third match of the piece last night.

Should Muharraq manage to win that game, on Saturday night, then the destination of the league title will be decided but if last night's episode at the Zain Bahrain Basketball Arena in Umm Al Hassam is anything to go by, Al Ahli will have a lot to say about the outcome.

Coming off the back of the clashes between players, management officials and fans of both sides that followed a second rip-roaring clash on Sunday, there was an uneasy atmosphere gripping the arena as Muharraq and Al Ahli entered the fray yesterday evening.

Last night's game was, rather ironically, the least dramatic and easily the lowest-scoring of the three clashes.

As in game one, Muharraq were by far the quicker of the two sides out of the blocks and were already 10 points after five minutes.

Al Ahli, as is their form, got crucial scores when they really needed it to keep in touch with their opponents and trailed 21-11 at the end of the first quarter.

The second period was a strange one in itself, as Muharraq maintained control without ever really imposing themselves, and finished with both teams having added a further points to their scores to leave the Cup champions in the driving seat at 31-21 at the half-time break.

In a repeat of the previous two games, Muharraq put on a storming display at the start of the second half and at one stage opened up a 39-23 lead but Al Ahli clawed their way back and entered the final 10-minute quarter 54-46 in arrears.

This Al Ahli side has a strange habit of finding their stride in the closing stages of games and they did it again last night as they drew level at 55-55 but that seemed to spark Muharraq into life and they pulled away for a deserved win.

With Al Ahli having taken the initiative in the series with a 84-70 extra-time victory in game one, Muharraq brought things level with that win, by 92-90 on Sunday night.

The potential title-deciding game four will tip off at the Zain Arena at 7pm on Saturday night, with the fifth instalment, if needed, scheduled for July 17.
Courtesy of: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com
  




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