Qatar avoided the potential upset with a 28-10 third quarter rally to beat Syria 86-75 in the most exciting game so far in the Stankovic Cup. 19 year-old Saad Abdulrahman Ali and Yasseen Ismail Mousa each scored 20 points as Qatar led Group B with 2-0 after winning the West Asia showdown.
Surprisingly, Qatar trailed 36-46 to a highly-organized and efficient Syrian offense. A switch to two-three zone worked wonder. Qatar frustrated Syria’s outside shooting and controlled the paint. A three-pointer by Mohammed Seleem Abdulla put Qatar on top, 51-50, with 5:15 left in the quarter.
Qatar dominated the quarter which included at least five dunks by Mousa and Omer Abdergader Salem, and turned a 10-point halftime deficit into an 8-point lead in the end of third quarter.
Syria refused to give up. Led by Madanli, who was shut out in the third after scoring 17 in the first half, Syria made the score 80-75 with two minutes remaining. Madanli scored 11 straight points during a four-minute stretch.
A looseball foul call on A.A. Abdallah with 1:44 remaining drove Syrian head coach Sherif Osman Ayazmy crazy. Ayazmy challenged the referee on court and was ejected. Mousa made three of four ensuing free throws and iced the game.
Michael Madanli had 31 points after scoring 33 in the first game. He was obvious the brightest star so far in the first two days of the tournament.
Qatar 86-75 Syria (Half 36-46)
Qatar – S. Abdulrahman Ali 20p+4a+4s, Y. I. Mousa 20p+7rb+4s, O.A. Salem 13p+5rb+3blk
Syria – M. Madanli 31p(7-18 FG)+8rb+4a+4s, M.N. Samman 16p+5a