Basketball: Nizwa regains glory

A year after it failed to win the Oman Basketball Association (OBA) league title, multiple champions Nizwa regained glory by dethroning Seeb 75-62 in the final at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (SQSC).

Last year, when Nizwa had to be content with a surprise bronze medal, its coach Mohammed al Qusaimi, had told Muscat Daily that 'we would come back stronger'.

And Qusaimi kept his words as his club, a force to reckon with in the domestic basketball, claimed its 14th crown, toppling last year's champion.

And to add lustre to the trophy was the fact that Nizwa stayed unbeaten throughout the league this season.

The club, which claimed its maiden title in 2003, has since then either finished as winner or runner-up till 2018 when it slipped to third.

No club in Oman's basketball history has won so many titles; Ahli-Sidab being the next on the list with nine trophies and Seeb with five. Last year runner-up Ahli-Sidab took the third spot.

Speaking after winning the 14th title, Qusaimi said, “We brought in young players this season and they performed very well. It augurs good for the future as the youngsters displayed good potential.”

Qusaimi, a former international, has been part of Nizwa's coaching set-up since 1999. The latest title was the eighth success for him with the club.

Qusaimi said, “I am very happy that we regained the title. Nizwa has a long history of success in basketball and I am proud to be part of that success story.”

Nizwa's American import Karim Hasan Ali was the tournament's top-scorer with 315 points.

Nizwa's Faisal al Jamoodi had the highest three-pointers with 37, while his clubmate, Osama al Riyami, was named the best point guard. Ahli-Sidab's Mahmood al Sooli was adjudged best centre.

Later OBA chairman Fareed al Zadjali gave away the trophy to Nizwa captain Ahmed al Halhali in the presence of Nizwa Club chairman H E Khalfan al Naabi and other officials.

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