This is the match-up that Qadr had been looking forward to. Against a team they believed they matched up well against, and one that barely beat them in the regular season. Add to that the Bosnian rivalry between Qadr (affectionately known as the Bosnian team) and Sanel, the player they cant seem to get to join the rest of the Bosnian team. Qadr was also looking forward to claiming to be the only team to beat Ikhlas this season; so much so, that they even managed to get Maher "Robert Horry" Alic to get off the couch and make a playoff appearance.
|Ghosts of the Past
||Jun 19, 2007
From the start of the game it looked like Qadr was on target predicting that they would do well against Ikhlas. They even got helped by the fact that 3 Ikhlas players showed up without shirts resulting in Qadr netting 4 free throws to start the game (though Sadmir missed on all 4, missing out on a golden opportunity for a 4-0 lead). Ikhlas' appeared guilty of taking their opponents too lightly and were in danger of not being able to get back on track. Ikhlas was playing so badly, that when Sanel hit a 3-pointer with 12:36 remaining in the half, it was his team's FIRST basket to make it a 2-6 score for Qadr. Yes, that's right. 7.5 minutes for the best team in the league to score its first points in a crucial playoff game. The low score wasn't a problem for Qadr because that was the pace they are accustomed to. But it didn't bode well for Ikhlas. Sanel later hit another 3 with 9:41 left to give Ikhlas the 9-8 lead. The rest of the half wasn't much better, and Qadr was pleased to enter halftime with a 22-20 lead, while Ikhlas was trying to figure out where their offense was. Ikhlas was lead by Sanel's 9 points and Darko's 8 points while Sadmir and Tyrone contributed 6 and 7 points for Qadr.
The 2nd half is where Qadr's ghosts of the past came to re-haunt them. Harken back to a similar game on April 2 in which they played a top ranked and undefeated team (Tamjeed) and were leading surprisingly at the half and frustrating their opponents on offence only to disappear in the 2nd half and score an anaemic 4 points (on free throws only) to ultimately lose the game. Now, they didn't score 4 points in today's 2nd half and they didn't score just on free throws, but Qadr shot itself in the foot again by not finding their offence against Ikhlas in the 2nd half. In today's game, Qadr managed only 7 2nd half points. Neither Sadmir or Tyrone scored a point in the 2nd half after leading their team in scoring in the 1st half, while Samer and Najib were the only ones to score for Qadr in the 2nd half, with Najib's 3-pointer coming in the closing moments of the game when it was already out of reach. The game was tied at 24-24 with 16:45 left and Qadr was forced to call a timeout with 11:35 left after Ikhlas went on a 12-0 run. The timeout didn't help as Qadr didn't score again until only 3:12 was left in the game to make it a 26-37 score and to finally halt Ikhlas' 17-0 run.
Qadr's season is over as they have the summer to re-examine their mistakes this season and figure out how to solve their 2nd half offensive problems. Meanwhile, Ikhlas continues its undefeated run and faces Fatiha next week in the semi-finals.