Final (1:30 PM-2:30 PM) Sunday, Jan 15, 2006
  1 2 T
Ikhlas (8-0-0) 27 29 56
Qadr (4-5-0) 25 29 54

Qadr comes close again, but Ikhlas wins it in the end Jan 20, 2006
by Zuhair Fancy  

When these teams met in the regular season finale, Ikhlas barely won 42-41 despite Qadr playing a with only four on the court in the second half. For the playoffs Qadr had only five players available and leading scorer Maher Alic was unavailable for this game. Qadr used a combination of their quick guards and aggressive play down low to keep pace with Ikhlas the last time they met and were hoping that the formula would work once again.

Ikhlas came out gunning as the dynamic guard duo of Sherif Shehata and Mahmud Bashir sliced through the Qadr defenders early for some easy baskets. Qadr responded by putting the ball in the hands of Dzenan Kurt who was in the zone early, hitting long jumpers and battling for tough baskets in the post. With 20 seconds left in the first half and Ikhlas leading 27-20, Sadmir Kadic drove the lane scored an easy lay-up to put Qadr down only by 5 points. Kurt picked off a poor pass and drained a long three pointer at the buzzer to reduce Ikhlas to a 27-25 halftime lead. The five-point swing was huge as it also gave Qadr momentum and confidence to start the second half. Kurt finished the first half with 15 points while Kadic pitched in with 6 points. Ikhlas was led by Shehata with 10 points and Bashir with 8 points and 5 rebounds.

The second half saw the score remain close as Ikhlas continued to hold onto their slim lead but with 14 minutes left Qadr took a 35-33 lead. Qadr scored another basket to take a 37-33 lead and Ikhlas was forced to call a timeout with 13:45 left in the game. After the timeout Ikhlas tightened the defensive screws and worked the ball around better and took a 41-40 lead with 11:50 left in the game. Ikhlas continued to play well and took a 45-40 lead with 10:46 left in the game forcing Qadr to call a timeout before the game slipped away. Ikhlas had gone on a 12-3 run in the nearly three minutes after using their timeout and were playing well. Qadr continued to battle but could not close the gap and found themselves trailing 56-49 with 40 seconds left. Samer Kurdi scored to make it 56-51 and Kadic hit a three with two seconds left to make it a 56-54 game but could not get the ball back allowing Ikhlas to escape with the win.

Shehata led his team in scoring with 17 points and shot 3 of 4 from three-point land, hitting the big shots down the stretch. Bashir finished with 14 points and Emmanuel Ankrah ended up with 8 points and 13 rebounds in a strong effort in the blocks. Qadr was led by Kurt with 20 points while Kurdi finished with 13 points, all of which came in the second half. Qadr came close once again as they pushed Ikhlas to the limit. Qadr's poor outside shooting saw them go 5 for 19 shooting three's and an 11 for 22 performance from the free throw line sealed their fate.

Ikhlas will now move to the Final Four where they will face Asr, a team they beat 52-43 during the regular season.