Dolphins top Binary Financial in battle of undefeated sides in fourth round of Ball Above All's Elite League

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Mamdou N'Diaye had a triple-double to pace Vipers.

A battle of Ball Above All’s the two undefeated teams in the Elite League didn’t disappoint in the fourth week of the season.

Dolphins and Binary Financial each entered the meeting with a perfect 3-0 record, but it was the former who remained flawless as they earned a 79-76 victory at GEMS Dubai American Academy Barsha.

After the teams went back and forth for most of the contest, Binary Financial held a four-point lead with a minute left. But as they’ve done all season when the game has been on the line, Dolphins came through behind pushes by Augustine Bakali and Pavel Aheunin.

Bakali had 28 points and seven rebounds, while Aheunin contributed 21 and five boards to give Dolphins sole possession of first place in the standings.

Meanwhile, Heat secured their first win of the season by beating Spartans 80-77 on the strength of Damian Edwards’ 40 points.

Spartans’ full-court press proved to be a nuisance for Dubai Heat, who saw their early lead whittle down. However, Edwards responded with timely baskets and Tony Gerges hit crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.

Emmy Unaegbu paced Spartans with 30 points and six steals as they dropped to 2-2 this season.

In the day’s other game, Vipers handled Dubai Flights with ease in an 88-65 win.

Vipers dominated in the paint and the perimeter as they outrebounded Flight 41-27 while hitting 17 triples, compared to six for their opponents. Eight of those treys came from Alessandro Maniero, who knocked down a season-high, while Michel Hakim had five himself.

Big man Mamadou N’Diaye had arguably the most impressive performance, however, as he showed his versatility with a triple-double of 17 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists.

Ball Above All continues to deliver high quality leagues in Dubai, offering multiple divisions, pick-up games and a recently-launched Academy for all ages during Ramadan.

Follow Ball Above All on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Register to play on www.BallAboveAll.ae.

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Gaafar ElSouri has the skills to pay the bills with his video series

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Road to recovery: Gaafer ElSouri

Former basketball player Gaafar ElSouri was a dual-sports athlete competing in both basketball and football. Dubai-based since 2014, ElSouri started his career in Saudi Arabia with Al-Hilal club and his basketball career included stints in Europe, Southeast Asia and Canada.

A serious knee injury last year left him on the sidelines and needing to rebuild his fitness to get his career back on track. His torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) required him to have full reconstructive surgery on his knee, which made him more determined than ever to get back on the court. ElSouri designed himself a workout programme of both fitness and drills to get him back in peak condition.

In a series of videos, coinciding with the NBA Playoff finals, ElSouri is documenting his road back to fitness, with the individual exercises you can do to get yourself in top condition. The second in the series focuses on dribbling exercises that aim to enhance your ball-handling skills. These drills can be done as a warm up, prior to a game to get your body ready to be in a triple-threat position. They can also be done to enhance the conditioning of your arms and legs while focusing on ball control.

In the pick of the bunch, ElSouri demonstrates figure of eight exercises. You too can practice by standing with your knees about shoulder-width apart and bend over slightly. With the ball in your right hand, pass it between your legs in a figure eight motion to your left hand. Swing the ball to the front and then pass it from your left hand back to your right hand through your legs. As with all ball handling drills, start slowly and increase your speed as you get more comfortable. When you’re confident enough, add in another ball and keep the two going simultaneously. Another exercise ElShouri does is the two-ball front V dribble.

Here you move your upper body along with the ball. When you’re doing this drill, it’s important to note the rhythm of the ball. The aim of the exercise is to keep both balls bouncing in front of you, and also passing one through your legs, while remaining in control.

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Binary Financial and Dolphins remain flawless in third week of Ball Above All's Elite League

Jay Asser 7/06/2018
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Dolphins' Lloyd Edjuto takes it to the basket.

Binary Financial and Dolphins continued to keep pace at the top of the standings in Ball Above All’s Elite League with their third victory in as many weeks.

In the first game of the night at GEMS Dubai American Academy Barsha, Binary Financial topped Spartans 81-68 as Ammar Farouq put on a show with 32 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Farouq sliced through Spartans’ defence at will to build up a sizeable lead. Spartans went on a run in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to single digits, but couldn’t complete the comeback as they suffered their second loss of the season.

Dolphins then took care of business against Dubai Flight with a 67-58 victory, pulling away late after a closely-contested game.With four players scoring in double figures – including Augustine Bakali who had 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and five steals – Dolphins’ firepower proved to be too much.

After struggling in their first two games, Dubai Flight showed fight and improvement in the loss.

The final game of the night saw Vipers edge Dubai Heat 82-78 behind Aristeed Mendy’s monster performance.

Vipers had four players contribute double-digit scoring with Mendy leading the way by dropping 37 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and six steals.

Mendy’s scoring average of 26.0 points trails only Binary Financial’s Bilal Abdullah (26.3) for top scorer on the season.

Ball Above All continues to deliver high quality leagues in Dubai, offering multiple divisions, pick-up games and a recently-launched Academy for all ages during Ramadan.

Follow Ball Above All on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Register to play on www.BallAboveAll.ae.

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