Dubai International Tournament: Heroic Sagesse Comeback Not Enough As Riyadi Reach Final

24 Feb.2017- Riyadi took on Sagesse in the first semi-final of Dubai International Tournament as both have the final in sight.

Sagesse started the game off well. Defensively they were switching on the picks, double teaming Aminu under the basket, closing up spaces very well and running quickly on the fast break. Stoglin was the man, as he often is, blowing past Brown on many occasions. 10 points from his team’s first 14, he was on fire.  Once Ismael entered the game, Riyadi were clicking on all cylinders and finished the Q up by 7, 23-16.

Riyadi kept on pounding in the second Q. Ali and Ismael were on fire, unstoppable from every single corner of the court. 4 threes for Ismael and 4 for Haidar, enlarged the deficit to 23. Sagesse lost focus soon after, as Wael and co were merciless scoring time and time again. Riyadi finished the quarter on a high leading 55-32.

Nothing changed in the 3rd Q, Ali maintained his perfect field goal % from behind the arc, the ball was moving so well that all Riyadi’s shots were taken easily. Always finding the open man, no forced shots and great shot selection. The chemistry between the 5 players on the floor was exquisite. Riyadi reached a level of playing that many see as the best in recent years. 36 points from behind the arc in the first 30 minutes emphasizes the fact that Riyadi were playing at ease and finished the quarter up 69-51.

Sagesse entered the 4th quarter willing to give their all. A huge comeback from the Greens led by Stoglin and Beyrouthy who added a lot of energy to this team. Even Godfrey played some good defensive ball, denying Ismael couple of times and grabbed some crucial rebounds. Sagesse was back in the game. Things were going crazy, down by 18 with the beginning of the fourth Q, now they are 7 points away with 5 minutes left. Things did not last as Riyadi hit back to widen the gap again to 14. Riyadi managed to maintain the lead and win 89-75.