Al Rayyan’s Malek Salem Abdulla had a total of three points to his name against Al Gharafa yesterday, but two of those points came off a jump shot right at the buzzer. The two-pointer was enough to clinch a 70-69 thriller for Rayyan in the Qatar Men’s Basketball League at the Al Gharafa Sports Club.
Gharafa got on the scoreboard first with Kevin Galloway’s two-pointer moments into the match. Barring a minute-long lead courtesy a three-pointer by Rayyan’s Yasseen Musa, Gharafa kept the momentum with a six-point advantage at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Rayyan came up with a nine-point scoring run for a four-point advantage at 26-22 but Gharafa moved right back in to finish the half on a high at 41-34.
The match turned into a close contest after the break with Rayyan keeping the lead for most of the second half. In the last two minutes, Rayyan’s chances were jeopardised as a four-point lead at 68-64, was turned into a one-point deficit  with Abdulrahman Mohamed Saad and Emmanuel Osaro Adako scoring a two-pointer each and Omar Abdelkader Salem adding a free-throw.
With seconds to go in the match, Abdulla came up with a crucial jumpshot, following some assistance by team-mate Mohamed Hassan, for a match-winning two-pointer.
James Davon was the top-scorer for Rayyan with 21 points, while Musa (18), Alexander Immanuel (12) and Tanguy Ngombo (10) were the other players in double figures.
For Gharafa, Adako scored 19 points, while Hassino Ndoye and Saad added 15 points each.
In the earlier game, Terrence Lavalle Joyner Jr. was on top of the scoresheets with a 36-point effort but with little help from the rest of the squad, Al Ahli slumped to a 66-89 defeat at the hands of Al Wakrah.
In the initial stages, it looked like the match was going to emerge as a thriller with Ahli going from a 3-8 deficit to a 12-8 advantage but from thereon Wakrah, led by Adamu Saaka in the scoresheets, wrestled the initiative.
Saaka had 14 two-pointers under his belt besides three free throws for 31 points. Mame Souleye Ndour added 22 points, while Boney Harold Watson pitched in with 14.
Joyner Jr. had three two-pointers, seven three-pointers and nine free throws to show for for his 36 points.
The only other player to get into double figures for Ahli was Ndoye Elhadj Seydou with 11 points.
The league will be in action on Saturday with El Jaish taking on Al Arabi at 5:30pm and Al Khor facing Al Sadd at 7:30pm.