The semi-final match between Quraysh and Humazah would be a difficult one to predict the final outcome. Humazah has shown incredible tenacity throughout the season and as long as Ahmed Khattab and Tosin Agboluaje are on their games the team becomes a difficult one to stop. Quraysh, on the other hand, if so full of talent and scoring but have not played to their potential and to expectations.
|"Kobe" Leads Quraysh Into The Semis
||Jun 18, 2008
Humazah started the game on a tear. The scoring began when the official called a technical foul on Adeel Sahibzada in the first 30 seconds of the game. Sahibzada was left bewildered and so was the rest of the floor as no one understood the nature of the call. Sahibzada tried to complain but the official threatened to eject him from the game and members of Quraysh were forced to control their young star and bench him in the early going. The officials had set the tone. They were not prepared to listen to anything. It was only during the half when we learned that Sahibzada was issued the technical for bumping the referee who believed in his mind it was intentional. Naturally Sahibzada did it by accident but the two resolved their issues and moved on with the game.
With Sahibzada on the bench, Humazah opened up the scoring with a 9-0 run mainly due to the great plays by Tosin. The drought wouldn't last long as Mohammed Ismail would finally sink a 3-pointer to get his team on the board. With the jitters gone, Quraysh was finally able to get comfortable and play their game. Abdul Bari Yousufi and Abdellah Abda started to dominate the boards on the both ends of the floor leaving Humazah with very few second chance opportunities. Humazah also got sloppy allowing Quraysh to steal the ball 6 times in the half. With minutes left in the half Abda was able to force his way in down low, grab the offensive baord and lay it back in for Quraysh's first lead at 17-16. The wheels for Humazah had officially fallen off.
Quraysh would lead by the end of the half 19-17.Abdul Bari would lead his team with 8 points with Abdellah almost matching his output. Humazah was led by Tosin who finished with 10 first half points but the key question that everyone asked was "Where is Ahmed Khattab?". Khattab was uncharacteristically invisible in the first half and only managed a feable 3 points of free throws and one rebound. If there would be any hope in the second half for Humazah they would need Khattab to show up.
Unlike the first half the second half was full of more entertainment. Both teams played a majority of the second frame trading baskets. Phil Edwards came alive for Quraysh in the second half after waking up from his first half slumber. He would score several baskets and throw in some key blocks to keep his team in the game. Meanwhile, Khattab was slowly building steam as he began to let loose on the three-ball. However, it was captain Merhtash Abdul-Samad who would come off the bench with a huge injection of energy as he flung himself all over the court swatting balls, chasing rebounds, stealing the ball, forcing some turnovers, and even scoring some baskets. This burst of energy had Quraysh on their heels and they promptly called a time-out at the 11:29 mark trailing 28-26.
Following the time-out, league entertainer extraordinaire Mohammed "Kobe" Ismail took his cue on the stage and put on an incredible show. Ismail would drain two bombs from long distance, steal the ball twice on key plays result in an easy basket for his teammates and also earning him with several trips to the free throw line. Kobe was on fire and he helped his team build the largest lead of the game and put them up 40-33. The flames were still blazing and it must have affected Humazah as they were melting at a rapid pace. Humazah was 44-34 with 1:16 remaining when they called a time-out to regroup. Unfortunately it was over by then. The damage was done and they weren't able to recover. Quraysh would move on with a 47-40 victory and eliminate Humazah.
Surprisingly, Ahmed Khattab would lead all scorers with 15 points, however most of those points came in the last three minutes when the game was out of reach. Tosin, who looked great in the first half would only score 2 points in the second half and finish with 12 points. Although Mohammed Ismail is credited with the hot scoring that led his team to victory, Quraysh should also be commended for their great team defensive game as they out-rebounded Humazah 30-20 and they were able to steal the ball 10 times compared to 5 for their oppenents. The victory allows Quraysh to continue and face Ash-Shams in their next battle.