Lebanese teams on course for Dubai final clash.
Dubai: Lebanese sides Club Sagesse and Sporting Club remained on course for a mouth-watering final, as crowd favourites Nlex Road Warriors bowed out in the quarter-finals of the 26th Dubai International Basketball Tournament at Al Ahli Club's indoor hall here on Thursday.
The teams from Lebanon recorded contrasting wins, while the Filipinos wilted in the second half against a resolute AS Sale of Morocco. The US And1 also made it to the last four with a 94-81 victory against hosts the UAE.
It was business as usual for Club Sagesse as they overcame Zamalek of Egypt 102-89, after Sporting Club had powered their way past Dubai's Al Shabab 107-66.
AS Sale had Abdul Hakim Zouita's 24 points in their plucky fightback for a 97-90 win over Nlex Road Warriors.
Sporting Club set up a semi-final encounter against AS Sale, while Sagesse take on the US And1 touring team.
The UAE national side failed to make it as one of the top four teams as they wilted in the final quarter. The hosts did well to match their stronger opponents in the first two quarters, with just one point separating the teams 46-45 at half-time.
In the third quarter, the hosts were down by four points 63-67, and then in the final period they slipped as the Americans outscored them 27-18 to win comfortably.
The Sagesse versus Zamalek match was the pick of the quarter-finals, with the Lebanese champions earning a ten-point cushion 25-15 in the first quarter.
The Egyptian side came back in the later part of the second, cutting down the lead to three points at 37-40, thanks mainly to Sharif Abdullah and Tymell Murphy's accuracy from outside the circle. Sagesse held a slender three-point advantage at half-time at 45-42.
Zamalek displayed more gusto early in the third quarter, with their American duo of Murphy and Corey Williams drawing them level at 47-47. But Sagesse still managed to outscore them and finish the period with a 73-63 advantage.
In the final quarter it was all about accuracy and Sagesse managed to keep the scoreboard ticking, with man of the match Terell Stoglin top-scoring with 35 points to see his side home.
"We knew it would be tough against Zamalek. They came with their best tonight and we are relieved we got through this one. This match will make us stronger for the last two matches of this competition," Sagesse coach Fouad Abu Chacra told Gulf News.
In an earlier quarter-final, Sporting Club paced themselves well for an easy Al Shabab, with a major part of the damage done in the first two quarters as they led 57-23. In the third, Al Shabab outscored the Lebanese 29-24, but still trailed 52-81.
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|Publication:||Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)|
|Date:||Jan 24, 2015|
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