Al Riyadi moved a win away from returning to the FIBA WASL-West Asia League Final following a nail-biting 95-92 win over Sagesse in a Semis opener witnessed by about 8,000 fans at the Stade Nouhad Nawfal, Wednesday night.

The defending sub-zone champions overcame an early double-digit deficit and appeared to have taken full control of the game when they led by a decade with under four minutes left to play, but needed some luck in the endgame to escape their long-time rivals.

Manny Harris split his charities with 4.4 seconds left to play, but Al Riyadi only heaved a sigh of relief when Jonathan Gibson missed the potential game-tying three as time expired.

It should be an interesting Game 2 next Wednesday, April 3, with the series heading into the Green Castle’s own stomping grounds at the Ghazir Club Stadium.

Game heroes: Elmedin Kikanovic led Al Riyadi with 24 points and 13 rebounds, netting an efficiency of 30 as he also had an assist, a steal, and a block each for a full line.

Two-way specialist Karim Zeinoun matched his season-high with 18 points spiked by five three-pointers, together with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.

Amir Saoud and Wael Arakji supplied 14 points apiece as the backcourt tandem helped bring Al Riyadi back into the game after being down by 10 during the second quarter. Arakji added 6 rebounds and 6 assists to his name while Saoud had 4 rebounds and 6 dimes as well.,