Its 2-0 for the Realtors in Bahrain

On: 26 August 2008

According to the Gulf Daily News, the Sta. Lucia Realtors concluded their exhibition contest in the first Bahrain-Philippines Ambassador's Friendship Games by winning a closely fought contest against the Al Ahli Club, 87-79, on 22 August 2008.

The Realtors put on a show for the crowd in the final quarter, coming back from an eight-point deficit late in the game to maintain the undefeated record of visiting Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) teams in the kingdom.

Last Thursday (21 August 2008), the Realtors overcame a sluggish start to outplay national champions Muharraq, 77-66, in the opening game. They used a strong fourth-quarter performance to turn a narrow lead into the double-digit victory late in the game.

Just like in their first game, PBA 2008 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Kelly Williams sparked the end-game charge of the Realtors. Williams made an emphatic one-handed slam dunk on the fast break to get the Realtors to within 65-66 midway through the final period, and then Joseph Yeo scored on an acrobatic lay-up in transition with five minutes to play to give the Realtors a 72-68 advantage.

Their teammates fed off their lead, and the Realtors continued to control the contest until the final buzzer despite the efforts of Ahli, who was still able to keep the game close in the final two minutes.

Veteran Paolo Mendoza iced the victory with another tough lay-up on the break for an 86-79 edge with half-a-minute to play, and guard Dennis Miranda pegged the final score with one of two from the charity stripe.

"Certainly it was a tough game, we're still all tired and battling jet lag, and we're all just trying to get into shape for the start of the new year," Williams told the Gulf Daily News.

Williams led the Realtors' balanced attack with 20 points, while Mendoza had 13. There were seven other players who scored more at least five points for the Realtors. Also playing key roles were PBA Rookie of the Year Ryan Reyes, Dennis Espino, Marlou Aquino, Nelbert Omolon, Philip Butel, Dennis Daa, Melvin Mamaclay, Norman Gonzales, Christian Coronel and Rafael Santos.

Sayed Hashim and Hussain Shaker led the charge for Ahli, finishing with 18 and 16 markers, respectively.

The event was held under the patronage of Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain Eduardo Pablo Maglaya. Ambassador Maglaya was in attendance last night along with acting Bahrain Basketball Association president Jassim Al Sindi.

The team left the kingdom on 24 August 2008 for Doha and then to Dubai, as they continue their brief tour of the Gulf.

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