A great match up was set for the Finals as Humazah and Sharh set to do battle one last time. Sharh walked in well rested and in complete game shape while Humazah stepped in from a victory only an hour earlier in the semi-finals. Playing the early game was not a factor for Humazah as they were still full of energy. Smart rotations and substitutions in semi finals gave each player plenty of rest in order to play in the finals.
|Humazah Captures Championship
||Mar 9, 2006
Technicals were issued to start the game as both Antar Aqil and Bashir Moses of Humazah were in violation of league uniform rules. Matt Koller proceeded to take the bonuses but was unsuccessful in both attempts. After that the game kicked off with a quick pace. Both teams were well matched and had several scorers as options to rely on. An early lead was built by Sharh with a series of quick plays. Rajko Tanovic hit a jumper which was then followed with a steal by Ibrahim Tiamiyu off Antar Aqil. That play led to 3-point basket by Akeem Blackman. Shortly after a layup by Usman Chaudary, Sharh started to run again with consecutive triples from Humza Chaudhry and Allay Jamma. It seemed like things were going to get out of control but Humazah was not waivered hitting several baskets of their own. From there the two teams continued to exchange baskets in what was becoming a see-saw basketball game.
Unfortunately for Sharh things weren’t as smooth as it may have seemed. They were all over the offensive boards but unable to complete the easy baskets. Foul trouble was also affecting the team as they allowed Humazah to stick around by giving them numerous attempts at the charity stripe. It also didn’t help Sharh as Tiamiyu seemed to have buttered fingers allowing the ball to slip through his legs twice in a single minute. With a quick flurry of baskets by Humazah, Tanovic was able to end the half by penetrating the defense and slinking past Moses for a sweet layup with 4 seconds left in the clock. The half ended with Sharh leading Humazah 33-28. Blackman led Sharh with 10 points while Fawad Hurre matched that for Humazah.
The highlight of the first half was a scene that resembled a breakfast commercial. Snap! Crackle! Pop! That’s all that was heard from Antar Aqil’s ankles when Tanovic of Sharh had the MVP moving the wrong way. Before Aqil even realized what was going on Tanovic slipped away from the base line, charged the hoop, sucked in a defender, and dished the ball low to Taimiyu for the easy basket.
The final half of the season was upon us and both teams knew it was a fight to the finish. Humazah was shaken a bit at the fact that they were trailing but put their game face and and came out flying. Hurre started the half with a beautiful rush end to end finishing with a lay up. It was almost routine at this point. Whenever Hurre’s eyes light up you know he’s going to go the distance and finish the play.
It seemed like the beginning was all Humazah. Aqil hits a jumper. Roba steals the ball. Moses with a block on Tiamiyu. The tide was shifting… but don’t tell that to Tanovic. With Moses all over him Tanovic nailed a triple right in his face. From this point on the two teams were battling each other tooth and nail. With 8 minutes left and Sharh leading 46-44, Humazah took a big blow as Moses was called for his second technical foul and subsequently ejected from the game. The dynamics of the game changed with the loss the loss of the big man. Although Sharh was able to take advantage of this hole it wasn’t long before Humazah adjusted and started to take control. Hurre and Roba led the offense for Humazah. Slick ball passing and some critical steals by Roba coupled with a series of Hurre baskets put Humazah in the lead 52-20 with two minutes remaining. Fouling two free throws for Humazah, Allay Jamma hit a leaner to put Sharh within two points. The next play saw Hurre going to the charity line to extend the lead but the missed free throw was gobbled up by Tiamiyu and converted on the other end by Matt Koller. With 1:12 left and the game tied Humazah called their final time-out. Following the time it was the Gamada Roba show. The Humazah point guard stepped up to the plate by controlling the play and setting his teammates up for an easy attempt. Roba also managed to grab key rebounds on both ends of the floor and finished his free throws. Sharh was unable to convert any of their baskets down the stretch and eventually time winded down as Humazah won the match 62-56.
The victory capped a fantastic season for league MVP Antar Aqil and his team as they managed to go undefeated through the season. Hurre and Aqil led all scorers with 15 points. Hurre and Roba also went perfect from the free throw line hitting 8 and 6 shots respectively. Tiamiyu and Blackman led Sharh with 12 points each. Overall, the game was an entertaining affair and the next season should be an exciting one if the two teams can retain their rosters.