(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Edward Justice scored 26 points and Ibrahim Giama contributed 23 as Qatar Sports Club edged out Al Ahli 81-78 to win their opening match in the Qatar Cup basketball tournament last evening.
In a see-saw battle at the Al Gharafa Sports Club, it was Al Ahli who grabbed the early initiative, taking a 14-10 lead after the first five minutes.
Qatar Sports Club kept snapping at their rivals' heels but Al Ahli stilled edged the first quarter 22-19, and also the second, 40-39.
However, in a dramatic turn of events, Qatar Sports Club worked up some sensational form in the third quarter, scoring 16 points in the first five minutes to suddenly find themselves leading 55-44.
The Qatar Sports Club defence admirably kept the Al Ahli team at a safe distance, allowing their rivals to score only four points in the bargain.
But the second five minutes of the third quarter again saw a turnaround with Al Ahli scoring 15 points against Qatar Sports Club's nine.
But that didn't prevent Qatar Sports Club from taking a three-point advantage (71-68) advantage into the final quarter, in which they scored 17 points to clinch the match.
The highlght of the match was some great shooting from Giama, who scored 21 of his 23 points from the three-point mark.
Qatar Sports Club scored 19 points from turnovers while Al Ahli had just 9. Qatar Sports Club also excelled with second chance points, scoring 13, while Al Ahli could only manage four.
For Al Ahli, Aleksander Metrovik top-scored with 19, Abdulrahman al-Muftah had 18 and Omar Ahmed chipped in with 16.
In the second match of the day, Al Arabi thrashed Al Sadd 80-58 with Adako Osaro (20), Adaamu Saaka (19), Souleye Ndour (15) and Momar Talla (11) excelling for the winners.
Al Arabi were off to a dominating start, leading 25-13 after the first quarter and then wrapping up the second period 43-25.
They continued to pile more misery on Al Sadd and were 66-39 ahead at the end of the third quarter before completing the rout.
For Al Sadd, Mohamed Ouiri scored 19 points, while Faris Sadikovic, Ashraf Abuissa and Oumar Seck chipped in with 10 points apiece.
On Wednesday, El Jaish play Al Gharafa while Al Rayyan take on Al Wakrah.