Qatar wrapped up the match in comfortable fashion against Kuwait to boost their chances
of qualifying from Group F, which also includes Japan.
Khalid Sulaiman Abdi scored a game-high 25 points as Qatar began their basketball campaign with a 79-69 win over Kuwait at the Asian Games yesterday.
Qatar maintained a steady lead over their Gulf rivals to wrap up the match in comfortable fashion to boost their chances of qualifying from Group F, which also includes Japan.
Abdi single-handedly demolished the Kuwaiti defence time and again, scoring 11 times out of 18 attempts and converting three of five free-throws, with Irfan Ali Saeed and Atif al-Hadry scoring 14 and 10 points respectively to complete the rout.
Qatar coach Vasilis Fragkias was satisfied with the team’s performance, although he said he expected much more from the team. “It was a good win and overall I have no specific complaints,” Fragkias said. “We started off well and maintained our advantage throughout and never allowed the Kuwaitis to mount a serious challenge.”
However, he emphasised that Qatar should raise their game a notch or two in their next game against Japan tomorrow. “This team is capable of much better performances and I am sure they will rise to the country’s expectations.”
Qatar led 21-16 after the first quarter but as the match progressed they kept pulling away even further. By the end of the second quarter, Qatar were comfortably placed 43-32 ahead with Kuwait hardly showing any signs of catching up.
Qatar captain Yasin Ismail Musa, who has not recovered fully from his shoulder injury, did not take any part in the match but is expected to play a few minutes against Japan tomorrow.
Daoud Mousa scored nine points for Qatar, all from the three-point mark, but Boney Watson, who stayed on the court for 28 minutes, could only manage four. Ahmad al-Baloushi excelled for Kuwait with 17 points which included two three-pointers, while Hussain al-Khabbaz had 12 and Nayef al-Rashidi 10.
At one point of time in the match, Qatar enjoyed an 18-point lead thanks to a purple patch that saw them score nine consecutive points.
In other action involving Qatar, the beach volleyballers continued their fine run with Tamer Abdulrasool and Abdulaziz Khallouf scoring yet another win in Pool H. They defeated Sharif Yorzada and Mukhseni Rustamzada of Tajikistan 21-7, 21-15 in a matter of just 25 minutes.
In men’s shooting, Qatar’s Viacheslav Skoromnov ended up in 22nd position in the men’s 10M Air Rifle qualification, while Rashid al-Mohannadi finished 34th and Mohamed Zain al-Sunaidi 52nd out of 53 triers.
In women’s Trap qualification, Qatar’s Amna al-Abdulla fared much better, finishing sixth while Kholoud al-Khalaf was 24th. China Zhu Jingyu later went on to win the gold medal.
The men’s weightlifting competition saw Qatar’s Essa Saleh al-Buainain just managing a total of 140kg, a whopping 90 kilos lesser than the next best competitor in the 77kg class.
Qatar also suffered a wipeout in squash with Pakistan cruising to a 3-0 win in the men’s team competition.
Qatar’s bowlers too did not fare well with Jassim al-Muraikhi and Jassim al-Deyab ending up 18th and 19th in Men’s Singles Squad A.
In Men’s Singles Squad B, Ibrahim al-Deyab and Yousef al-Jabir were 16th and 17 respectively, while Khalid al-Dosari was 20th.
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