Dubai: The second round of games in the High School Basketball Championship took place at Jumeirah Baccalaureate School (JBS) on Saturday, with Lycee George Pompidou (LGP) winning a dramatic game against Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS).
The fierce contest required a competition record of three overtime periods to declare a winner, with LGP eventually coming out on top 53-50.
Under steady playmaking from Behruz Mistry (JESS) and Sami Samawi (LGP), both teams found ways around stubborn defences to feed their star players.
As the teams exchanged the lead throughout the game, it was evident that only a special moment was to decide the game, and it came down to player of the game Adham Gaama (LGP) at the end of regulation. With seconds to go, Gaama thought he had won it with a go-ahead free-throw, only for the referee to chalk the point off for a noticeable foot fault.
In the ensuing overtime periods, points only came from the foul line. Player tiredness contributed to the increased fouling and it was a matter of surviving the foul count and hitting the free-throws.
Both teams eventually had two players foul-out but JESS had a player injured just before the third overtime period, which forced them into finishing the game with only four on court.
After more than two hours, Gaama, with 23 points and 16 rebounds, led LGP to a very close opening victory 53-50.
In the delayed second game, JBS and Dubai College also extended into overtime after a low-scoring game couldn’t find a winner in regulation.
Aaroosh Kohli (DC), playing in the tournament for the second time, couldn’t pull his team through despite a solid 18-point outing as the overtime period was taken over by Adam Harutunian of JBS. Harutunian, who was voted player of the game, scored six of his game-high 22 points in the crucial extra period, leading his team to a 37-31 win.
For more information on the tournament log on to www.hsbchampionship.com