ZOUK MIKAEL (Lebanon) – Al Riyadi authored an anticlimactic conclusion to the FIBA WASL chapter of their long-standing rivalry with Sagesse following an 86-65 victory to seal a return trip to the West Asia League Final, Wednesday night at the Stade Nouhad Nawfal.

The defending sub-zone champions overcame a tepid start before breaking the game open in the third quarter much to the delight of their faithful that filled up the venue, bucking the trend after the Semi-Final series’ first two games were decided by only three points.

With the blowout victory, the Yellow Castle has forged a rematch with Shahrdary Gorgan in the best-of-3 championship affair set to commence next week.

Al Riyadi will definitely try to keep their mastery of the reigning three-time Iranian champions but the crew will be facing a different team from last season. Gorgan finished the Group Phase unbeaten and returned to the Final that way after beating Al Shorta in the Semis.

Game heroes: Elmedin Kikanovic top-scored for the home team with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and 6 rebounds to net an efficiency of 23.

Lead playmaker Wael Arakji came through with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists on his way to earning yet another STEP AHEAD Player of the Game citation.

Karim Zeinoun made 14 points, spiked by a pair of triples. Manny Harris flirted with a double-double with 12 points and 8 rebounds, while Hayk Gyokchan added 10 as the trio played key roles in helping Al Riyadi wake up from an uncharacteristic 0-10 start into the game.

New pick-up Thon Maker made his presence felt with 8 points and 11 rebounds, together with 2 assists, a steal, and a block in 20 minutes off the bench, giving Al Riyadi another solid piece that should help a great deal in their attempt at winning it all this season.