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    Bahrain holds off Iraq as Fiba Asia qualifying in Manama closes

    Feb 23, 2021
    PHOTO: fiba.basketball

    BAHRAIN survived a late flurry from Iraq to take an 80-77 escape to close the Manama bubble at Khalifa Sport City on Tuesday en route to the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup.

    Ahmed Salman Ramadhan Haji scored the big layup with 26 seconds remaining and iced the game from the charity stripe in the final nine seconds to erect a four-point lead, but still had to defend well in the clutch and only heaved a huge sigh of relief when Kevin Galloway missed his potential game-tying triple as time expired.

    Maitham Isa captained Bahrain with 21 points on 3-of-6 shooting, together with five rebounds, four steals, and two assists to cap off this series of games for the hosts.

    Haji finished with 14 points and five rebounds, Mohamed Kawaid added 13 points and three assists, and Mohamed Ebrahim had himself 12 points, four boards, and three dimes.

    The win allowed Bahrain to secure the second seed in Group D at 4-2, behind leaders Lebanon (6-0) as they both progress to the continental tilt.

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    That's despite naturalized center CJ Giles still struggling from the field, only accounting for six points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field.

    Galloway tried to atone for his late gaffe in the India game, but couldn't provide the heroics in this upset bid, finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, and two steals in the losing cause.

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    Mohammed Al-Khafaji registered 13 points and three boards, as Ali Hamad had 11 built on three triples, as well as seven assists, but Iraq exited the qualifiers winless through six games.

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      PHOTO: fiba.basketball
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