2017 WABA Championship: Riyadi Crowned Champions After Downing Petrochimi
17 Mar.2017– Riyadi went into the game focused and eyeing the gold.
Amir Saoud was filling the shoes of Branko and was founding his way to the basket. Defensively, Riyadi were facing a big sized, tall team that kept pushing down low. They were trying to pound the basket time after time, trying to put Aminu and Haidar in foul trouble. Riyadi’s zone defense caused Petrochimi a lot of trouble as they were able to force them to commit many TO and push on the break. The Lebanese finished the quarter leading 22-12.
The second quarter started with both teams sharing buckets. Back to back three point shots from Jean Abdel Nour increased the lead to 16 as momentum shifted in Riyadi’s favor. It’s important to signal the defensive presence that Ali Haidar imposed under the rim although he faced a 2.10 m center. Riyadi continued the quarter with a slow tempo trying to kill the game and finish the quarter the way they want. A late Iranian surge reduced the lead as they finished the half trailing 28-43.
Petrochimi came out focused and hit the ground running. They tried to close the gap with back to back buckets. But Jean Abdel Nour and Amir Saoud had other ideas. Captain Jean was tremendous on both ends. He’s known for his lock down defense and today he was on fire from behind the arc. As for Amir, he carried the load offensively and was able to penetrate the Iranian defense time after time. Riyadi built a demanding lead and finished the quarter up 70-51.
In the fourth, Riyadi kept their zone defense as Petrochimi could not find their touch from downtown. On the contrary, Ali Haidar was taking his open shots and drilling them. Alade was finding his way under the basket, scoring and grabbing rebounds by the dozen. Tension built in the game as the Iranians felt the loss coming their way. They were trying to get the Lebanese out of their comfort zone. Riyadi kept their cool as they won the game and were crowned WABA champions after an 83-69 win.