Recap
Final (1:00 PM-2:00 PM) Sunday, Jan 25, 2009
Qadr
Fatiha
  1 2 T
Qadr (8-2-0) 24 25 49
Fatiha (6-4-0) 20 20 40

Back-to-Back-to-Back(??) Jan 26, 2009
by Teepu Khawja  

This is a rivalry that has grown over the last few seasons, particularly with Darko as he has only recently found playoff success against Fatiha in the last season as Qadr won its first I-Slam championship. Prior to Qadr winning last season, Fatiha had won 2 consecutive championships, both of which required going through Darko's teams. Last season however Darko got his revenge eliminating Fatiha in the semi's. It was a hard fought win but was aided by Fatiha's persistently poor free throw shooting.

Qadr's regular season dominance of Fatiha continued this season as they defeated Fatiha 57-52 thanks to 4 players (not named Darko) scoring in double figures. Despite Fatiha's best efforts the night before to distract Darko late into the night at his birthday party, Darko's teammates picked up the slack especially Najib and Roman who both scored season highs. Fatiha will have to continue its hot shooting from the semi-finals if they wish to prevent Qadr from repeating and take back their mantle as league champions in 3 of the last 4 seasons.

Darko must have read the above recap and took it personal, rising to the occasion in the championship game. He quickly scored 6 points to start the game and put Qadr up 6-0 in the gameís first 30 seconds. Fatiha manage dto regain its composure and go on its own 10-0 spurt to take a 10-6 lead. It was clear from the start though that Fatiha would have its hands full with Darko as he was active setting off-the-ball screens to free up shooters Andrew and Sanel or to take advantage of defsnive switches that gave him an advantage over smaller defenders. Qadr was forced to call a timeout with 11:19 left in the half and down 14-9 as Fatiha started getting more success on offence in the paint. The half ended with Qadr storming back and taking a 24-20 lead. Fatiha was doing its part to address past mistakes by going 4-4 from the FT line and ensuring Qadrís reserves didnít do them in again by allowing only Andrew and Darko to score a point in the half; unfortunately Darko scored 14 on his own and Andrew hit three 3ís. Fatiha was lead by Deklonís 8 points.

The second half played out like the first as Qadr got off to a good start, was then matched and over taken by Fatiha, until we arrived in the closing minute of the game with Qadr up 45-40. The game was essentially sealed with 0:49 seconds left when, after Deklon blocked a lay-up by Andrew Motta, Fatihaís Mike Leonard was blown for a technical for swearing that was actually uttered by a member of Qadr. The call, as well as it being assigned to a Fatiha player was controversial, and put Motta to the line and gave Qadr possession afterwards. Motta hit both FTs and put his team up 7.

The game ended with Qadr winning its 2nd consecutive championship by a score of 49-40.