Khazzouh’s 24 help Sagesse down Champville

Sagesse grabbed a morale-boosting 91-87 win against archrivals Champville in round three of the group stage of the Lebanese Basketball League at Ghazir.

The match saw new security measures implemented by the governing body and the security forces following the unfortunate scenes that engulfed the Beirut derby two weeks ago at Manara.

Sagesse were seeking to avenge their 138-130 double overtime loss against Champville in Dik El Mehdi, but faced a daunting task, as their American superstar Terrell Stoglin continued to serve a three-game ban.

Stoglin’s compatriot Desmond Penigar was back in the squad to replace Charles Thomas, after he was sidelined for almost three months because of an injury.

Sagesse’s head coach Fouad Abou Chakra started the game with an all-local lineup, but American Deshawn Sims, who made his debut with Champville against his former team, gave Sagesse an early scare when he banked two triples against the zone defense to give Champville a 9-6 lead.

But the hosts soon showed determination, with Julian Khazzouh dominating inside as Sagesse led 29-17 by the end of the first.

Champville made the right defensive adjustments in the second half, as Ghassan Sarkis introduced Nadim Hawi to the court in attempt to shut down Khazzouh, and he partially succeeded as Champville clawed back the deficit to two points at halftime.

But the green side soon regained their 10-point lead – Penigar back at it with some impressive jumpers, while Elie Rustom showed high intensity and aggressiveness to help Sagesse lead 72-62 heading into the fourth. The visitors managed to close the gap to four points, but Sagesse held firm to end the game 91-87 in their favor.

This was the fourth successive loss for Champville, who now lie in third place in Group B, one game behind Tadamon in second. Sagesse all but secured top spot with 12-5.

Khazzouh led the scoring with 24 points and 14 rebounds for Sagesse, while Rustom contributed with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Another three players scored in double digits, as Penigar dropped 18, Akl 12 and Hayk Gyokchyuan 11.

Sims made a brilliant start with 30 points, while Bassel Bawji and Nikoloz Tskitishvili added 18 points each for Champville.

Elsewhere, Mouttahed edged closer to securing third spot in Group A after defeating Homenetmen 90-79 in Tripoli.

Dewarick Spencer top scored for the Tripoli side with 39 points along with 16 rebounds, while his compatriot and U.S. point guard Perry Petty added 21 points and 11 assists. Charles Tabet also contributed with 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Bashir Ammoury chipped in nine points and eight rebounds.

Dion Dixon exploded with 47 points, eight assists and six rebounds in a losing effort for side.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *