KAZAKHSTAN avoided the upset axe on Friday as it survived Bahrain in overtime, 79-76, for its second successive victory in the 27th Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Coming off an 81-67 victory over Thailand on Thursday night, the Kazakhs endured anxious moments before dispatching the Bahrainis to grab the provisional lead of Group D.
It was the second straight game that needed extra period at the same playing venue - the secondary playing court behind the Mall of Asia Arena - after Bahrain edged out India, 82-80, in OT on Thursday.
Rustam Yargaliev paced the Kazakhs with 19 points.
Bader Malabes, the former La Salle gunner, registered a team-high-tying 14 points, while former Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player candidate CJ Giles chipped in 12 markers for Bahrain, which still led, 50-45, with over seven minutes remaining in regulation .
Kazakhstan (79) -- Yargaliyev 19, Jonson 18, Yevstigneyev 16, Dvirnyy 12, Klimov 5, Ponomorev 4, Murzagliyev 3, Lapchenko 2, Sultanov 0, Bondarovich 0, Zhigulin 0.
Bahrain (76) -- Malabes 14, Ismaeel 14, Kawaid M. 12, Giles 12, Alderazi M. 10, Azzam 7, Akber 6, Kawaid Y. 1, Ebrahim 0, Altawash 0.
Quarterscores: 18-11; 22-22; 40-43; 66-66 (reg); 79-76.