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Arabi’s overtime win clinches Emir Cup title

Lightning has struck twice for Al Wakrah as Al Arabi clinched the prestigious Emir Cup basketball title yesterday.

Arabi, who defeated Wakrah to win Qatar Basketball League in February, once again overcame a stiff challenge from Wakrah to register an overtime victory (96-88) in the final at the Al Gharafa Sports Club.
This is Al Arabi’s eighth title and it came after a long wait of 24 years.
The credit for Arabi’s victory goes to Nicholas Stover, who almost single-handedly swept his side to the final of the tournament by scoring an average of 30-plus scores. Stover, who had scored 42 points in the semi-final against Al Khor, was once again the top-scorer for his side with 29 points.
“I am very pleased and honoured to have helped Al Arabi win the title tonight. This is our second title this year after the league crown,” Stover, who was leading scorer for his side in the league, said.
Stover also had five assists and six rebounds. William Earl Byrd and Khalid Suliman Abdil also contributed 25 points each for the winners.
Arabi took a four-point lead (20-16) in first quarter, but Wakrah came back strongly in the second to curtail the lead to only one point. However, Arabi regained a three-point lead at the end of the third quarter, before the fourth finished at 75-all.
In the overtime, Arabi players were better in speed as they scored 21 points, while Wakrah netted only 13 points.
“The victory is very sweet for us as it has come after a long gap. The title win is the result of my boys’ consistent show this season. We are happy to win two titles this season,” Arabi coach Hatem Mamlouk said.
Demarius Armond Bolds’ match-high 38 points went in vain as Al Wakrah, who had failed to qualify for the Emir Cup finals for 16 years, once again failed to cross the last hurdle.
Other notable contributions for Wakrah came from Earnest Lee Ross Jr (22 points) and Adamu Saaka (14 points)