TDT | manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The 2022/2023 Zain Bahrain Basketball League is set to kick off with a bang on Saturday with two exciting matches on the schedule. Defending champions Manama will be the first to enter the court when they take on Samaheej at 5:30 p.m. This will be followed at 7.30pm by top contenders Al Ahli, champions of the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 campaigns, taking on the hugely strengthened Al Najma squad.
Manama have strengthened their backcourt with the addition of Ahli’s Ahmed Aldurazi, although they lost longtime captain Mohammed Hussain to Najma in the offseason. Aldurazi joins top talent including Ahmed Salman, Hassan Nowrooz, Ahmed Abdulaziz, Ali Hussain and Mohammed Ameer for the reigning titleholders, to name a few.
Meanwhile, Ahli returns with his formidable line-up which includes Maitham Jameel, Hesham Sarhan, Mohammed Kowayed, Mohammed Qurban and Subah Hussain. Najma, on the other hand, had one of the biggest off-season runs in the Kingdom, with the services of Hussain from Manama, Hussain Shaker from Muharraq and big man Abdulrahman Ghali from Ahli. The trio join a strong core that includes Mohammed Buallay and Ali Jaber. The first week of league action continues Sunday and Monday.
On Sunday, Sitra will take on Isa Town while Bahrain Club take on Al Hala. Then on Monday, Nuwaidrat will face Muharraq, the losing finalist last year.
Muharraq is back with key players Bader Abdulla Malabes, Ali Shukrallah and Younes Kowayed, and they have also added point guard Hussain Salman to the squad, who is now expected to be coached by renowned Serbian tactician Rajko Toroman. Heading into the new season, Manama have won the league title 22 times, while Ahli have won 19 championships, followed by Muharraq and Hala with three each.