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Wednesday , March 20 2019

Azkals rally past United to record third win of season

KUWAIT CITY, Sep 22: The Azkals@35 squad came from behind in the third quarter to record their third win of the season, 86-76, against United COE Friday afternoon in the PBLK basketball conferences at the Khaitan Sports Club. Michael Sumague contributed an impressive 22 points, along with six assists, as Azkals made the most of their third quarter momentum to wipe out COE’s early first half lead in the inter-company division series. Lacerona and Rustia added 16 and 12 points apiece to the Azkals slate.

COE’s Ryan drew first blood for the visitors with a quick layup, and then followed up to finish the opening round with 8 points including four steals. He finished with a total of 16 points despite making 2-of-8 in 3-pointers. COE turned the ball over four times leading to 10 points for Azkals in the first half.

Manglalang paced the COE loss with 21 points, eight rebounds and ten assists. He scored 9 of his 21 points in the final quarter even as COE was under a barrage of shots from the opposition in the round. Featuring for the second time in the conference, Alcantara connected on five of his six shot attempts in the second round as the COE squad managed to keep Azkals at bay to end the quarter on a cumulative 35-33 score line.

Sumague and Lacerona along with Ryes soon found themselves leading a swift Azkals rally in the final half of the contest following a quick COE time-out. And as his teammates set up around the 3-point arc, Sumague weaved his way through the well guarded COE defences repeatedly in the early moments of the third quarter extending the crackdown into the final stretch, narrowing the COE advantage to zero as the visitors began to recoil into a defensive posture.

The to and fro basket trips continued on both sides of the court with the home team featuring more prominently on the score board to extend their lead to 4 points, 79-75 at the end of the third.

The final round saw a determined attempt by Sumague and Lacerona to tip the scales on the opposition as the Azkals duo strung the ball into the COE half of the court, igniting a melee in the process. Lacerona got shoved to the floor as he was bound for a 2-pointer.

He connected both shots from the resultant free throw to push Azkals’s score inching up to 86-76. Ryan and Ramil, both of COE joined the last minute rampage on Azkals’ defences but could hardly make any more headway as the home side’s coach had ordered a redeployment of all personnel to defend the 10-point advantage to the finish.

Despite the determined fight, United COE finally lost the game, 86-76 at the buzzer.

Meanwhile, in other 5’8” division games of the day the results were as follows: FKTC 84 vs Kuwait Gilas 65; Body Building 68 vs NAS Matar Warriors 66; Yousef Power 83 vs Triballers 79.

Iddris Seidu

Arab Times Staff

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