Final (12:30 PM-1:30 PM) Sunday, Jan 8, 2006
  1 2 T
Asr (5-3-0) 19 19 38
Falaq (1-7-0) 20 11 31

Asr Ends Falaq's Dismal Season Jan 9, 2006
by Zuhair Fancy  

The first round of playoffs continued and the day began with Falaq facing Asr in a game that went down to the wire. Falaq started with a short bench, as they were missing leading scorer Senad Begovic and bruising power forward Munir Havusic. Asr was hoping to take advantage of this but found it much more difficult than it seemed.

Falaq managed to keep pace through-out the first half as Adis Dzehverovic hit some running jumpers and combined with Amir Tucic in the post to keep pace with Asr. Teepu Khawja showed some aggressiveness by driving the lane hard and drawing contact. As a result Tucic picked up some fouls early that would come back to haunt him later in the game. The half ended with Falaq leading 20-19.

The second half saw Asr tighten up defensively and become more aggressive as they did not settle for long jumpers. Tucic continued his strong play as he kept Asr's leading scorer Zahir Kolia in check. Kolia did manage to get to the free throw line often but had been the case in the regular season, he was unable to make his opponents pay the price. The intensity of the game reached a boiling point when Tucic fouled Asr centre Reza Mohammed with 7:58 left in the game. This was Tucic's fifth foul so he was finished for the game, Mohammed lost his composure and despite getting the call ended getting ejected himself. Asr took advantage of Falaq's loss as with the loss of Tucic, Falaq only had five players left and began to falter under the pressure. Asr played smart in the final minutes as they did not rush shots and hit their free throws when they went to the line. The game ended with Asr moving on to the second round after a 38-31 victory. Mohammed led Asr with 14 points and was supported by Khawja with 9 points. Kolia finished with 8 points but shot 3 for 12 from the free throw line. Falaq got a good game from Aazar Zafar who finished with 10 points while Tucic and Dzehverovic each finished with 8 points.

Falaq is now done for the season despite many predicting a long playoff run before the season began as this team was the biggest in the league. However a combination of poor attendance, injuries and inconsistent shooting sees them making an early exit.

Asr will move on to face Inshirah in what should be an exciting game. The last time these teams met Inshirah walked away with a 51-36 win.