By Umar Abdul Salam
JEDDAH — Al-Ittihad Club defeated Al-Nasr Club 79-76 in the final to win the Saudi Basketball Federation Championship at the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Basketball Hall here.
The hall was packed with over 7,000 fans to watch the final game of the championship. Prince Mohammed Bin Motaeb Bin Theneyn Al-Saud was in attendance along with federation members and FIBA officials.
The game started slowly with no score for the first 2 minutes. Ittihad took lead by the end of the first period (18-15). It increased the lead to 8 points by the end of the first half (41-33).
Nasr bounced back strongly in the third quarter but still trailed 45-54at the end of the session.
Ittihad fought hard to hold off Nasr in the fourth quarter and sealed the title at 79-76.
Nasr’s import player Jeremy Kusnor was the game-high scorer with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Import Steve Hertz added 17 points and 8 rebounds. Fahad Salhe had 10 and Turki 9 to round off Nasr’s top scorers.
Ittihad imports Quintrell Thomas (23 points with 13 rebounds) and Josh Dollard (22 points, 10 rebounds), made the difference with help from Methana Hassans (17 points 5 assist and 6 rebounds0.
Nasr came roaring in the final stages and closed the gap but could not clinch the issue. Ittihad’s Jabber Al-Kabri was adjudged the MVP.