Ittihad claims Saudi Basketball Federation Cup 2017
The Saudi Basketball Federation logo
Al-Ittihad Club defeated Al-Ahli Club 86-70 to win the Saudi Basketball Federation Cup 2017.
The Federation Cup games started in February with 16 teams - Ohud, Al-Safa, Nasser, Al-Arabi, Ittihad, Hidaya, Noor, Wehdah, Ahli, Abha, Hilal, Al-Salam, Al-Khualdiah, Fath, Ansar, and Nahdah. The games were played in Jeddah, Riyadh, Madinah, and Qatif.
The single game elimination tournament left Nasser to face Ittihad, and Fath to challenge Ahli in the final four. Ittihad beat Nasser to earn its spot and Ahli beat Fath to move on to the final. With the two Jeddah teams playing for the championship the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Basketball hall was filled with over 7,000 spectators. Prince Mohammed Bin Motaab Thinian was in attendance along with Abdulelah Shoail, Manager of the Basketball Federation, federation members and the Ittihad Football team to watch the game.
The first quarter set the tone for the game. After 10 minutes the teams were tied at 20-20. Ittihad’s import center Iberhiem Thomas had picked up two fouls and had to sit out part of the period. By half time Ittihad had moved ahead (42-37). Ahli’s only import player center Zaid Abbas was able to keep Ahli in the game and had 13 points and 8 rebounds at half time. Mazook added 8 points and Ali Shalbali 11.
Ittihad took charge in the second half. It hit 9 three pointers and added 44 points to its total finishing with 86. Ahli only added 33 to finish with 70. Zaid Abbas scored 23 points and had 22 rebounds and 4 assists, Ali Shalabi 18 points, 3 boards with 2 assists, Mazook 15 points, 4 boards and 5 assists for Ahli. Zaid had 22 rebounds but couldn’t score inside easy because Ittihad’s Iberhiem Thomas was a defensive force under the basket. Ittihad’s Marcel Anderson had 21 points 7 steals, 6 rebounds and 8 assists, Jabba Al-Kabbri 21 points 2 boards and 4 assists, Mohammed Hassan 12 points and 5 assists, Iberhiem Thomas 9 points, 12 boards, 6 blocks and forced 5 turnovers under the basket and Methena Hassan 7 points, 4 boards and 9 assists. Ittihad passed the ball well and had good shot selections.
By Umar Abdul Salam