After a wonderful performance in the semis for both Riyadi and AS Sala, the final matchup never looked better. Riyadi started the game a bit shaky, turning the ball over easily. Overconfidence might have played a role in this bad start. Sala were very focused and always found the open man to lead 11-3 after 4 minutes. Riyadi soon found their touch with Alade Aminu (210-F/C-87, college: Georgia Tech, agency: Three Eye Sports) and Haidar pairing up on couple of occasions. Yet they were still turning the ball around easily as Sala made the best of these mistakes. Hitting Riyadi's basket time and time again from down low. But a buzzer-beating backboard three-pointer shifted things in Riyadi's favor but still trailed 23-18. Riyadi's defense was easily penetrated in the second. This was not the defense that marked the tournament in previous games. Amir Saoud's introduction gave Riyadi a very much needed boost on both ends. 2 back to back threes cut the lead to 2. Riyadi were clicking on all cylinders but a late Sala surge gave them a 38-43 lead. The start of the second half was not perfect for the Lebanese, still lacking focus and defensively they were very stagnant. Sala reinforced their lead to 13. Ahmad Ismail (205-F/C-76) did his best to get his team back in the game. Down low, Riyadi were getting hammered by Kourdou Soufiane (211-C-85) and Abderrahim Najah (198-F/C-84). Riyadi did not show the image they showed all tournament long. Things were not going our way. To make things worse we were giving up the ball very easily. Eventually, the q ended in Sala's favor 64-54. Heading into the fourth, Riyadi fought valiantly to get back in the game. But Sala played great defense and with a slow tempo to kill the game. Mentally, Riyadi were beaten. On court, Sala were fully energized as if they were draining energy from fans and opposing players. Sala were finally crowned champions after defeating Riyadi 84-73. Courtesy of: sports-961.com
Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (Pepsi LBL) inked 32-year old Senegalese forward Mouhammad Faye (208-85, college: SMU). He started the season at Promitheas in Greek A1 league. In 23 games he averaged 11.5ppg, 6.1rpg and 1.1apg this season. The last season Faye played at Openjobmetis VA in Italian Serie A where in 21 games he had 9.3ppg, 7.9rpg and 1.0apg. He also played 13 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he recorded 9.5ppg, 7.0rpg and 1.2apg. In 2010 Faye was drafted by Rio Grande Valley Vipers... [read more]
Sagesse - Al Hekmeh Beirut (Pepsi LBL) inked 32-year old Senegalese forward Mouhammad Faye (208-85, college: SMU). He started the season at Promitheas in Greek A1 league. In 23 games he averaged 11.5ppg, 6.1rpg and 1.1apg this season. The last season Faye played at Openjobmetis VA in Italian Serie A where in 21 games he had 9.3ppg, 7.9rpg and 1.0apg. He also played 13 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he recorded 9.5ppg, 7.0rpg and 1.2apg. In 2010 Faye was drafted by Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League) in third round (7th overall). The former Southern Methodist University standoutis in his seventh season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Faye played in the final of D-League in 2011. He received also USBasket.com All-D-League Import Player of the Year award back in 2011. Faye was also a member of Senegalese international program for some years. He played for Senegalese Senior National Team between 2007 and 2015 and previously for U18 National Team between 2002 and 2004. Faye also represented Senegal at the Afrobasket Championships in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) four years ago. His team won Bronze and his stats at that event were 7 games: 9.1ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.1apg, FGP: 44.2%, 3PT: 12.5%, FT: 56.0%. Faye has quite traveled the world as his pro career brought him to three different continents (Europe, Africa and of course North America). Faye has played previously professionally in France (Hyeres-Toulon) and Senegal (JA Dakar and Rail). His game is described as:
True height is probably around 6-9. A lanky forward, with great wingspan, good ball handling skills and long range shooting ability. He's very active on the court, loves to attack the basket, can grab lots of rebounds. Very active in defense. Can play in the two forward positions, but his future is at the SF, thanks to his good perimetral skills.
Recap of Pepsi LBL Round 2 of Quarter-Finals - 2 days ago
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Sagesse - Al Riyadi 81-78 Sagesse held off Al Riyadi to even the series at 1-1. Al Riyadi was trailing by 8 points at halftime but managed to get 2-point lead after three quarters before a 29-24 charge of Sagesse, which allowed them to win the game. The best player for the winners was American-Ukrainian guard Steven Burtt (189-84, college: Iona) who scored 34 points (!!!) and 5 assists. American forward Calvin Godfrey (206-90, college: Memphis) chipped in a double-double by scoring 17 po... [read more]
Sagesse held off Al Riyadi to even the series at 1-1. Al Riyadi was trailing by 8 points at halftime but managed to get 2-point lead after three quarters before a 29-24 charge of Sagesse, which allowed them to win the game. The best player for the winners was American-Ukrainian guard Steven Burtt (189-84, college: Iona) who scored 34 points (!!!) and 5 assists. American forward Calvin Godfrey (206-90, college: Memphis) chipped in a double-double by scoring 17 points and 18 rebounds. Nigerian power forward Alade Aminu (210-87, college: Georgia Tech, agency: Three Eye Sports) produced 19 points and 7 rebounds and Dominican-American point guard Edgar Sosa (190-88, college: Louisville) added 12 points and 10 assists respectively for the guests. Four Sagesse and five Al Riyadi players scored in double figures. Top scorers: Sagesse: S.Burtt 34+3reb+5ast, C.Godfrey 17+18reb, B.Ammoury 11+6reb+4ast, P.Bou Abboud 11+7reb, C.Raines 5+4reb+1ast, M.Ibrahim 3+7reb+9ast Al Riyadi: A.Aminu 19+7reb+2ast, A.Saoud 18+1ast, O.Johnson 13+7reb, E.Sosa 12+2reb+10ast, M.Haidar 11+10reb+2ast, A.Ismail 3+1reb+2ast
Tadamon beat Byblos to tie things up at 1-1 in the series. Tadamon knocked down Byblos Byblos were ahead by 2 points after three quarters before a 26-16 charge of Tadamon, which allowed them to win the game. They outrebounded Byblos 48-30 including a 36-19 advantage in defensive rebounds. It was a great shooting night for Tadamon especially from behind the arc, where they had solid 57.1 percentage. American guard Courtney Pigram (185-85, college: E.Tenn.St.) orchestrated the victory by scoring 23 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. The other American import forward Maurice Kemp (203-91, college: E.Carolina, agency: Duran International) contributed with 23 points and 7 rebounds for the winners. Four Tadamon players scored in double figures. American guard Clay Tucker (196-80, college: Wisc.-Milwaukee) replied with 21 points and 7 assists and the former international Jasmon Youngblood (195-84, college: Kent St.) added 27 points in the effort for Byblos. Top scorers: Tadamon: M.Kemp 23+7reb+2ast, C.Pigram 23+9reb+6ast, M.Ilic 10+18reb+2ast, J.Khalil 10+2reb+3ast, G.Hadidian 7+3reb, R.Fahed 6+2reb+3ast Byblos: J.Youngblood 27+3reb, C.Tucker 21+3reb+7ast, A.Traore 16+8reb+2ast, A.Kanaan 8+7reb+1ast, A.Mahmoud 5+4reb+4ast, R.Akl 3+2reb+2ast
Homenetmen outgunned Champville for 2-0 lead. The guests trailed by 2 points after three quarters before their 31-22 charge, which allowed them to win the game. Homenetmen dominated down low during the game scoring 64 of its points in the paint compared to Champville's 42. Great defensive blocking was one of the keys in this match when Homenetmen made 7 blocks. The former international swingman Fadi El-Khatib (198-79) scored 33 points (!!!) to lead the charge for the winners and American-Iraqi point guard Kevin Galloway (200-88, college: Texas Southern) chipped in 19 points and 10 assists during the contest. Homenetmen's coach Joe Nebhan used a ten-player rotation which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. American forward Daniel Orton (208-90, college: Kentucky) responded with a double-double by scoring 19 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists and his fellow American import point guard Patrick Rembert (185-89, college: Cal-Irvine) scored 21 points and 6 assists (was perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line). Four Homenetmen and five Champville players scored in double figures. Top scorers: Homenetmen: F.El Khatib 33+4reb+1ast, K.Galloway 19+2reb+10ast, A.Majok 13+9reb+1ast, D.Jackson 11+9reb+4ast, N.Souaid 4+2reb+1ast, N.Hawi 4+4reb Champville: P.Rembert 21+3reb+6ast, D.Orton 19+10reb+5ast, B.Thomas 12+3reb+1ast, A.Farhat 11+4reb+2ast, B.Bawji 10+15reb+2ast, J.Assi 5+4reb
Louaize rallied past Moutahed for the first win. International guard Geron Johnson (190-92, college: Memphis) notched 22 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists to lead the effort and American forward Alandise Harris (198-90, college: Arkansas, agency: Diamond Sports) supported him with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Four Louaize players scored in double figures. Even a double-double of 27 points and 14 rebounds by American forward Cleveland Melvin (203-91, college: De Paul) did not help to save the game for Al Moutahed. His fellow American import guard Ramel Curry (191-80, college: CSU Bakersfield) added 14 points and 7 assists for the guests. Top scorers: Louaize: G.Johnson 22+5reb+9ast, A.Harris 18+6reb+1ast, E.Stephan 18+1reb, W.Lewis 12+8reb, M.Martinez 4+2reb+4ast, J.Salem 3+6reb+1ast Moutahed: C.Melvin 27+14reb+3ast, D.Spencer 17+4reb+2ast, R.Curry 14+2reb+7ast, C.Tabet 9+10reb+1ast, E.Rustom 4+4reb+2ast, M.Ziadeh 2+2reb
Nauticos of Mazatlan (CIBACOPA) signed experienced 35-year old American forward Omar Thomas (196-101kg-82, college: UTEP). He just played at Hoops in Lebanese Pepsi LBL. In 13 games he had very impressive stats: 19.8ppg, 8.5rpg, 2.5apg and 1.8spg this season. Thomas also played that season for Vanoli Cremona in Italian Serie A where in 6 Pepsi LBL games he recorded 6.2ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.2apg and 1.2spg. In 2005 he was drafted by Yakama Sun Kings (CBA) as #4 pick overall. Thomas attended Univ.... [read more]
Nauticos of Mazatlan (CIBACOPA) signed experienced 35-year old American forward Omar Thomas (196-101kg-82, college: UTEP). He just played at Hoops in Lebanese Pepsi LBL. In 13 games he had very impressive stats: 19.8ppg, 8.5rpg, 2.5apg and 1.8spg this season. Thomas also played that season for Vanoli Cremona in Italian Serie A where in 6 Pepsi LBL games he recorded 6.2ppg, 3.8rpg, 1.2apg and 1.2spg. In 2005 he was drafted by Yakama Sun Kings (CBA) as #4 pick overall. Thomas attended Univ.of Texas at El Paso and it will be his twelfth (!!!) season in pro basketball. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others his team made it to the Italian LNP Cup final in 2015. Thomas was also voted Eurobasket.com All-Serbian League Import Player of the Year back in 2012. He is quite experienced player. Thomas has played in seven different countries on three different continents (Europe, Latin America and of course North America). He has played previously professionally in France (Pau Lacq Orthez), Georgia (Vita Tbilisi), Philippines, Russia (Krasnie Krilya and Zenit), Italy (Banco di Srd, Enel Brindisi, Napoli J.News, Scandone Avellino and FCM Ferentino), Serbia (Crvena Zvezda) and Mexico (Halcones Rojos). It's very possible he may end his playing career at Mazatlan. Thomas could be described:
A great worker who brings a lot of energy on the court. Has great athletic skills and a team mentality that makes him loved by teammates and coaches. Needs to improve hie perimeter shooting, but can produce a lot of points in penetration and after grabbing an offensive rebound.
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