Dubai: Emirates International School (EIS) and Lycee Georges Pompidou (LGP) stormed into the semi-finals of the UAE High School Basketball Championship held at the Al Wasl indoor court.
In the first quarter-final, EIS faced Jumeirah Baccalaureate School (JBS).
In a low scoring affair throughout, both teams were reduced to a couple of shots only per quarter as turnovers and fouls filled the game. Saeed Al Rais led the way for EIS with 10 points and 11 rebounds and came through at crucial times as he hit a three-pointer on the buzzer to end the first quarter, and laid off a great pass for a score at the end of the third as well, both times to break a deadlock.
The fourth quarter had a different outcome as EIS were able to hold JBS scoreless for 5 minutes while they found spaces to score.
EIS finished off the game with a 10-point victory 36-26, securing their spot in the final four.
The second quarter-final featured the tournament’s defending champions, S. Mary’s Catholic High School (STM) and LGP.
STM took control of the game early, as they jumped out ahead by five points after one quarter of play, and 18-15 to close out the half behind some key plays from Efram Haile and Justin Mercado. LGP trailed the whole game until Walid Al Kara hit a 3 pointer to tie the game up 28 - 28 going into the final quarter.
In the final moments of the game, STM’s leading scorer, Nicholas Mendoza capitalised on a breakaway lay-up to put STM ahead of LGP 39-38. With 19 seconds of play remaining though, Sami Samawi drove into the lane with a sweeping lay-up to take LGP up 39-40.
STM committed a fatal turnover as they rushed the inbounds pass, allowing Samawi to steal the ball, and draw the foul. With a freethrow scored LGP defeated STM 39- 41. LGP were powered by Adham Gaama and Sami Samawi who combined for 36 of LGP’s 41 total points.