Game Photos. Game Details and Stats
BEIRUT, Lebanon (23rd FIBA Asia Champions Cup): Iraqi team Duhok held their own at the crunch moments to defeat Turkmen debutants Belent Asgabat 88-77 and took the No 3 seed in the Preliminary Round, thus earning a semifinal clash on Saturday against twice former champions and fellow WABA team Mahram.
Belent, on the other hand, are left with the onerous and ominous task of taking on the might of hosts and defending champions Al Riyadi Beirut in the semifinals.
Antonio Webb was a busybee for Duhok leading their campaign from the front with a 27-point game-high and fellow American Kendell Dartez returning a double-double – 19 points and 13 rebounds.
“Well, it’s a good win for us going into the semifinals,” said Duhok coach Hamza Ubaid Bakkal.
Duhok did nothing extra ordinary, but focused more on cutting down the mistakes and wayward attempts.
“That was our target for the game tonight,” Bakkal said.
Jenero Gorgiss had 18 points to provide the support with Mohammed Mahdi chipping in to plug the holes.
Belent Asgabat coach Ridvan Velishayev rued the lack of experience of his side as the reason for the defeat.
“Like I have been saying right through, we just don’t have the experience to win against such teams at this level. Skills-wise we are on par. This was seen today also. But in terms of big game experience, we need to catch up,” he added.
Uzbek import Aleksandr Kozlov led Belent’s cause with 23 points and countryman Samender Juginisov contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds.
“We’ll go all out and give it our best shot. We are up against the best opposition, but we won’t go down for want of effort,” said Velishayev on the semifinal against Riyadi.