Game Photos. Game Details and Stats
BEIRUT, Lebanon (23rd FIBA Asia Champions Cup): A 9-0 run midway through the first quarter proved sufficient enough for defending champions to post a 88-63 win on Friday against twice former champions and last edition’s silver medalists Mahram of Iran and take the top place in the Preliminary Round going into Saturday’s semifinals.
Now, like it has been in all their 17 contests so far tonight’s game too was one of an intense clash of talent, tactics and temperament – with some elements of tempestuous tantrums of temper thrown in to add to overall tension of the game.
“We had a flying start. And there was overall a lot more energy in the way we played,” said Riyadi guard Jean Abd El Nour.
Mahram coach Mostafa Hashemi seemed searching for excuses – blaming everybody right from the fans to the officials to the opposition coach – having chosen to play his bench for a longer period of time.
“We will come back hard,” Hashemi said. “There were a lot of things that didn’t go our way tonight. Well it may look like I am searching for excuses, but that’s the reality,” he said.
“We didn’t start well. And after that things just kept going down,” said Mahram guard Mahdi Kamrani, incidentally was also the leading scorer for his team with 21 points.
Young starlet Ahmad Ibrahim did that job for Riyadi with another game-high of 29 points, in a 10/18 field shooting including a 3/6 in treys, with the two Riyadi imports returning a double-double each.
American Loren Woods had a game-high 16 rebounds to go with his dozen points and Egyptian Ismail Ahmad dished out 5 assists along with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
“I am not sure if we should have let them score that many points especially when they were playing without their top players,” said Riyadi coach Slobodan Subotic.
“We need to cut down on our turn overs as well as spread the ball a little more,” he added.