AS if to signal its intents, Al Sadd Club, the runner-up to Al Rayyan in the last season, handed out a 91-43 crushing to Al Shamal as the 2012-13 Qatar Basketball League got underway at the Al Rayyan Indoor Hall on Saturday.
In another match, 2011-12 Heir Apparent’s Cup winner Al Arabi was fired to a comfortable 88-68 win by Abdullah Jalloh against Qatar Sports Club. Jalloh’s massive 39 points, including three treys, lifted Arabi to the romp.
It was expected to be a mismatch between experienced and well-oiled Al Sadd and Al Shamal. The latter is a new addition to the federation and its main aim is to play as well as possible in its first season. The second 10 minutes were the best for Shamal in which it scored its maximum 15 points. Otherwise, it kept running all over the court in vain to check the Sadd players.
Sadd enjoyed its leading position in about 38 minutes of the match and had stretched its lead to 48 points at one stage of the match.
Daoud Mousa was the highest scorer of the match with 23- point contribution. He also had three superb shots out of the arc in six attempts.
Sadd’s American pro Michael Southall also made his presence felt and netted 18 points, along with 12 rebounds. Sadd Abdulrahman displayed good touch to collect 17 points, including five three-pointers.
US pro Williams Tyvon led Shamal with 18 points and Douda Egona got 12.
The performance of Qatar Sports Club, which dominated the League once and emerged the winner on seven occasions, was not that bad.
Instead, Al Arabi played quite aggressively and scored to maintain its edge during crucial times.
The lead changed hands eight times and both got tied on six occasions. Arabi had scored 9 points in a row, while Qatar also had a sequence of 8 points during the match. What made the win easy for Arabi was its lead, which widened to as big as 22 points at one stage.
Arabi’s ever-dependable Jalloh was on fire and raised the individual scoring to a new level in this match. He played full 40 minutes and scored 39 points and had 8 rebounds, all off his own board. Alvin Mofunanya also had a good match as he scored 18 points and 15 rebounds. William Byrd also warmed up for the season with double double. He had 16 points and as many rebounds.
Though Qatar held a slight edge in the points from the paint (38 to 32), it was outplayed in fast breaks by Arabi, which had 24 to 14 advantage.
Qatarís US pro Chauncey Leslie, who moved from Rayyan this season, topscored for his team with 22.
Oumar Seck chipped in with 14 points but showed his worth in the rebound collection.
He picked 25 rebounds, which included 17 defensive ones. Saeed al Malki also scored in double digits, getting 11.
RESULTS Al Sadd beat Al Shamal 91-43 (half-time 45- 21) Main scorers- Al Sadd: Daoud Mousa 23, Michael Southall 18, Sadd Abdulrahman 17, Johann Mpondo 9, Mohamed Melad 8
Al Shamal: Williams Tyvon 18, Daouda Egona 12, Matenio Yembo 6
Al Arabi Club beat Qatar Sports Club 88-68 (half-time 45-37) Main scorers- Al Arabi: Abdullah Jalloh 39, Alvin Mofunanya 18, William Byrd 16, Khalid Masoud al Nasr 8
Qatar SC: Chauncey Leslie 22, Oumar Seck 14, Saeed al Malki 11, Moliva Eugene 10, Adil Khalifa 9
SUNDAY’S FIXTURES (at Al Rayyan Club) El Jaish vs Al Ahli at 5 pm Al Gharafa vs Al Wakrah at 7 pm