Egypt, Under Pressure, Beat Saudi 80-65
By Sophie Mosleh
In the match between Egypt’s Olympic National team and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ansar, the Saudi’s, who were out of the basketball competition before the game started – the game being played for ranking only – entered the game with ease.
Because of this, they played better in this match than in their previous two and because they were not pressured, they managed to lead 10-4 and end the first-half, leading 36-32.
Egypt entered the second-half more seriously and achieved an equal score of 55 after seven minutes.
The Olympic National team boosted vitality and started shooting 3-pointers to build up their scoring.
Egypt’s successful strategy caused Saudi to abandon all hope of winning and their lack of resistance boosted Egypt’s confidence and allowed them to win the game with a convincing 80-65 at full-time.
Zastava Win by Three Useless Points
In a game that made Al-Ahli Vs Orthodox seem like youths at play, Yugoslavia’s Zastava challenged Bulgaria’s Yambolgas in a competitive, exciting game that left fans tense and scared and was won only by three useless points.
The game was complete – tall players and good shooters on both sides, great defense and offense, leaving only one vital purpose both teams were fighting for – winning.
In a situation like this, it is hard to win, and the score moving slowly was no help for the Yugoslavians, who desperately needed an 11-point difference win, to bounce to round two of the championship.
The game was fast and hard but the real question was which team could control their nerves and tension?
Zastava won the game but didn’t achieve the required scoring difference. Yambolgas advance with Egypt’s Olympic National team to the second round and Zastava will play ranking from seven to nine.
The six teams that will advance are: Jazira, Orthodox Club, Al-Ahli [Jordan], Al-Ahly, Olympic National team [Egypt], Yambolgas [Bulgaria].
Three teams will play ranking from six to nine: Wehdat [Jordan], Zastava [Yugoslavia], Al-Ansar [Saudi Arabia].
Note: Syria’s Al-Itihad was supposed to play for the rankings also but they preferred to go back to Syria to nurse some injured players.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)