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Riyadi trounced the Iranian team Gorgan (100-78) on Wednesday in the West Asia Super League (Wasl) basketball final. Defending champions of this competition, the Yellow Castle retained their title in a match they dominated from start to finish.

Riyadi didn’t falter against Gorgan in the match that pitted the two teams against each other on Wednesday night in the regional final of the Wasl league on the court of Nouhad Nawfal Stadium in Zouk Mikael. After the setback suffered in Tehran last week, the Yellow team did more than just even the score: they completely overwhelmed their Iranian opponents in a one-sided encounter that they closed in their favor with an unequivocal score of 100 to 78.

The Yellow team dominated the game from the get-go, suffocating the Iranian team. The first quarter, perfectly controlled by Riyadi, ended with a score of 30-21, thanks to brilliant teamwork orchestrated by coach Ahmed Farran and an outstanding performance by one of the team’s stars, Elemedine Kikanovic, who easily pierced the Iranian defenses by scoring 23 points in the match.

The Twin Towers

Riyadi continued their dominance in the second quarter, where Thon Maker, absent in the second match, particularly stood out.

Driven by their fans and by their dynamic duo, Kikanovic-Maker, the Yellow team continued to widen the gap to cross the midpoint with a 16-point lead (54-38 in the 20th minute). This quarter was marked by a clear offensive and defensive superiority on the Lebanese side, who imposed their tempo on the Iranian team, both in attack and defense. It is worth noting that Riyadi ended the first half with only one turnover, showing excellent cohesion among its players.

Since their return from the locker rooms, the Iranian team was unable to get back into the game and seemed to have given up. Riyadi maintained its infernal pace, turning the match into a training session, with its star player Wael Arakji serving up assists to his teammates. The third quarter ended with a score of 76-54.

Powerless and Resigned Iranians

In the fourth and final quarter, Riyadi continued their stroll against the powerless and resigned Iranians. The Yellow players delighted their fans with spectacular plays and baskets, demonstrating their superiority in the match. From Amir Saoud’s three-pointers to Thon Maker’s spectacular dunks, the score soared due to the Yellow team’s onslaught. The final whistle came to relieve the unfortunate Riyadi players, who succumbed with a score of 100 to 78.

The statistics were clear, with Thon Maker and Elmedin Kikanovic leading with 23 points each. Amir Saoud produced 17 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists, while the starting backcourt tandem of Arakji and Jonathon Simmons delivered 12 points each. Not surprisingly, Wael Arakji was named the man of the match with nine assists.

“I’m so proud. I give all the credit to my players,” said coach Ahmad Farran. “We prepared them well, but in the end, it was the players and the energy they gave that made all the difference.”

“The guys executed the strategy perfectly, and it showed in our statistics. It was amazing. We did everything to win this game, and it’s a total success,” concluded Farran.

This resounding victory allowed Riyadi to win the title of champion of the West Asia zone for the second consecutive time. Riyadi already has its sights set on the WABA tournament quarterfinals, where the top three teams from the West Asia and Gulf region, as well as the champions of Kazakhstan and India, will compete for the coveted title, a major goal for the Yellow club this season.

But that’s another story!

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