Final (11:30 AM-12:30 PM) Sunday, Jan 29, 2006
  1 2 T
Nas (9-0-0) 21 34 55
Zilzal (6-3-0) 22 17 39

Nas cools down Zilzal's big guns Jan 31, 2006
by Zuhair Fancy  

When these teams met in the regular season it was Nas that walked away with the win but they faced a team without the leagues leading scorer in Ammer Askary. Many questioned how Nas would be able to contain Askary as well as overcome some of their issues with injury.

The game began with both teams taking some quick shots but it was only a matter of time before Nas settled into their slow half-court offense to control the clock. Nas managed to get some easy baskets by working the ball around the wings for open shots while Zilzal tried to push the ball at every opportunity. Anish Bhalla hit a three pointer with 3:21 left in the half to give Zilzal a 20-18 lead and Askary hit a jumper to make it a 22-18 lead with the half winding down. Camran Baig managed to split a pair of defenders and put in a lay-up just before the half expired and got the call as he was fouled in the process, after he hit his free throw Nas found themselves trailing 22-21. Askary led all scorers with 11 points while Rami Othman put in 6 points for Nas and was helped by Ibrahim Baig who finished with 5 points.

The second half saw the game remain close as neither team was able to build a lead and after Imran Baig hit a pair of free throws Nas was only up 29-28 with 12 minutes left. Zilzal suffered some breakdowns on defense allowing Ibrahim Baig to score some baskets and Zilzal was forced to call a timeout with 9:32 left in the game and losing 37-32. Nas continued to play disciplined basketball and Camran Baig hit a pair of free throws to give his team a 41-33 lead as Nas began to pull away with 6:28 left. Ibrahim Baig tipped in a missed shot from Othman to put Nas up 45-35 with 4 minutes left and sealed the win as Zilzal was forced to shoot three pointers which proved to be unsuccessful.

The game ended with Nas winning 55-39 after outscoring Zilzal in the second half 34-17. With the win Nas moves onto the West League Finals to face Ikhlas in a battle between undefeated teams. Ibrahim Baig led all scorers with 17 points and 10 rebounds; he was supported by Othman who finished with 16 points. Zilzal was led by Askary with 19 and Bhalla who finished with 14 points. As a team Zilzal shot 1 for 15 from the three-point area which was one of the main reasons for their defeat.