Dubai: Al Wasl clinched the Basketball League title for the eighth time after defeating Al Nasr 87-75 in the final held at Rashid Bin Hamdan Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
It was the third successive year that Al Wasl won the title. Al Nasr were unlucky to lose in the decisive match after they won at home the first match 96-90. Al Wasl won the second match 79-70.
Al Wasl dominated the match from the start and snatched the lead in the four quarters, without letting Al Nasr advance.
They led in the first quarter 20-19 with good efforts from skipper Khalifa Al Sheiba, Ebrahim Khalfan, Ayoub Hussain and Rashid Naser.
The professional players, American Courtney and Hervey of Ivory Coast, did well and played a significant role in Al Wasl clinching the title. Most of the Al Nasr players were off colour as they lost several three pointers.
Al Nasr's best player, Qasim Mohammad, suffered from an injury before the match. He tried hard during the match, but the injury deterred him. Al Wasl finished the second quarter, leading 44-37. They continued their dominance at the end of the third quarter also, leading 62-52.
Ayoub Hussain of Al Wasl was dismissed for his assault on Al Nasr player Talal Mussabah at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Al Nasr benefited from it by reducing the gap to just three points. However, the experienced Al Wasl players did not let Al Nasr take the lead and they increased the difference again to 10 points in the last two minutes to finish 87-75 winners.
Esmail Al Gergawi, chairman of the UAE Basketball Board, presented the trophy and gold medals to Al Wasl players. Al Nasr players were presented with silver medals, while third-placed Al Ahli team members picked up bronze medals.