Duhok earns fifth Iraqi bas­ket­ball league ti­tle

De­feat­ing Naft Al-Junub twice makes the Moun­tain Fal­con team cham­pi­ons of Iraqi League for the fifth time

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Do­huk Bas­ket­ball Team was able to achieve a cru­cial vic­tory over Naft Al-Junub 93-92 last Thurs­day evening in the open­ing match of the Pre­mier Bas­ket­ball League fi­nal by only one point's mar­gin ahead.

Duhok re­peated the vic­tory in the sec­ond match which held on 13 April at the Shaab in­door Hall in Bagh­dad city, in front of many ex­cited fans from both sets of teams.

Duhok mus­tered up a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance, win­ning the sec­ond match in the fi­nal con­test by 86-64. Duhok con­trolled the game from the out­set and kept up the pres­sure right up to the last minute.

To rec­og­nize the league cham­pi­ons, the Iraqi Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (IBA) put a new sys­tem in place. Ac­cord­ing to the new pro­posed cri­te­ria, the two teams that reach the fi­nal have to face each other twice. Duhok faced Naft Al-Junub two times. It ended both matches in its fa­vor and earned the League Cham­pi­ons ti­tle for the fifth time in its his­tory.

“I am re­ally happy that we have won the ti­tle for the fifth time; this came af­ter great ef­forts made by the play­ers through­out the whole sea­son as we have won on 16 oc­ca­sions. There was a huge pres­sure on the play­ers due to be­ing pun­ished by the Iraqi Fed­er­a­tion, but we worked hard to re­store the team spirit to the play­ers and pre­pare them psy­chologi- cally. "This was not easy at all,” said Mustafa Thamer, Duhok Bas­ket­ball Team coach.

Duhok was pun­ished by the Iraqi Fed­er­a­tion. It had to play its last two matches out­side of its arena which made the team face dif­fi­culty over­com­ing its ri­val.

“I feel proud of be­ing able to add an­other ti­tle to the club's achieve­ments and I am happy with the de­vel­op­ment achieved in the per­for­mance level of bas­ket­ball game in Iraq as there was fierce com­pe­ti­tion among most of the clubs in the Pre­mier League this sea­son.” Noted Thamer.

Mean­while, Naft Al-Junub Team coach, Amir Talib, said: " Duhok was not an easy team at all; the team knew how to deal with its ri­vals".

“I con­grat­u­late Duhok for win­ning this sea­son’s ti­tle. We were able to se­cure the sec­ond place which is not bad; hope­fully, we'll do bet­ter in the fu­ture,” he con­cluded.

Duhok's bas­ket­ball team was founded in 1972 and was ac- cepted in the Iraqi League as a fourth-grade team. In the 1980s, the team was pro­moted to the sec­ond-grade be­fore mov­ing up to the first-grade in the early 1990s. The team joined the Iraqi Pre­mier League in 2001 and se­cured fourth place.

Duhok's rep­u­ta­tion and strength grew in 2009 when it won the Iraqi Bas­ket­ball Pre­mier League ti­tle for the first time in its his­tory. Duhok re­peated their feat of 2009 by be­com­ing the Iraqi cham­pi­ons in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

This pic­ture de­picts Duhok Bas­ket­ball team. Club file pho­tothe fifth time

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