Al Ahli crowned back-to-back Bahrain champions

Al Ahli was last night crowned back-to-back champions of the Zain Bahrain Basketball League.

The “Eagles” captured the coveted 2020/2021 title following a 78-69 victory over arch-rivals Manama in the second game of their best-of-three championship series. The result gave Ahli a 2-0 sweep of the finals, a repeat of last year’s title-deciding match-up when Ahli also beat Manama in two games.

Al Ahli champion

Ahli captured their 19th title in league history, closing in on record-holders Manama, who has 22. Following the contest, both teams were presented their respective medals and trophies in an awarding ceremony attended by Bahrain Basketball Association (BBA) president Waleed Al Alawi and other officials. Al Najma representatives were also on hand, and they were presented with their bronze medals after finishing the league in third place overall.

Ahli, coached by respected Bahraini tactician Ahmed Jan, took a commanding 75-62 lead with two minutes 31 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter on a Hesham Sarhan three-pointer, but then Manama went on a 5-0 run to get back to within single digits. However, they were unable to get closer than seven points, and Sarhan wrapped things up with two free-throws that pegged the final score with 26 seconds to play. Sarhan and American professional Mike Harris combined for 62 of Ahli’s output in the game.

Harris led all scorers with 33, while Sarhan chipped in with 29, including a red-hot six triples. Both players were on the court for the full 40 minutes. Harris also took down 22 rebounds and blocked three shots.

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