Senegal’s AS Douanes proved too strong for Algerian side Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers (GSP) beating them 94-67 in day two of the ongoing Basketball Africa league (BAL) in Kigali, Rwanda Monday.
What started as a close game in the first two quarters–which ended 41-34 in favour of AS Douanes going into the halftime break–continued through the third quarter, which ended with just a 3-point gap between the two teams heading into the fourth quarter.
But the high flying and youthful AS Douanes managed to defeat GSP, thanks to the Senegalese’s shooting accuracy prowess and faster game approach
The result may prove to be very crucial going into the second round of games for a very complicated Group C that also has Egyptian giants, Zamalek and Ferroviário de Maputo of Mozambique.
Mamadou Lamine Diop’s 18 points and nine rebounds for AS Douones earned him the Player of the Game award.
“This win is the result of hardwork. We played as a team and for me, this was vital for our win. My players showed determination throughout the game, they never gave in and I am proud of them, ” said AS Douanes head coach Mamadou Gueye
Gueye started with an all-Senegalese first five, a decision he said was intended to make other players “understand our style of play and important for their integration.”
In the second game of the day, Zamalek sunk Ferroviário de Maputo 71-55 in another blistering Group C tie. The two teams were separated by a half a basket in favour of Zamalek going into the break at 33- 34
The second half was low in terms of scoring, but full of passion and defence games from both ends.
“We haven’t played competitive basketball in a long time due to the pandemic. This was our first game, and we hope to better against AS Douanes and GSP,” said Ferroviario captain Custodio Muchate.
In the final game of the day, Tunisian giants, US Monastir registered a historic win.
The Tunisian side became the first team to score 100+ points in the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League.
US Monastir swept the Malagasy club, GNBC 113- 66 to take control of a tricky Group A that features Rwanda’s Patriots BBC and Nigeria’s River Hoopers.
In a one-sided affair, five US Monastir players scored double digits to complete a convicing victory with 2011 FIBA Africa Champions Cup MVP, Makram Ben Romdhane leading the Tunisians with 23 points and game-high 10 rebounds.
While speaking in a post-game press conference, Romdhane said: “Today I had a good game, but it could have been one of my teammates. I have been competing in African basketball tournaments for over 12 years, and I am always happy to share my experience with younger players.”
Judging by the first round of games in Group A, it is going to be a tough outing for GNBC facing some of Africa’s finest in the same group.
GNBC lost their centre man, Cameron Ridley, to what appeared to be a nasty ankle injury in the third quarter.
His extremely imposing physique, his rebounds, and rim protection were vital in the first half of his team’s game against US Monastir. Ridley’s absence may deal a devastating blow to the Malagasy side going forward.
GNBC head coach Ranaivosoa Nantenaina later admitted that Ridley’s absence was a major blow to his team.
“It’s a major injury, and he won’t be returning. He was doing a good job for us, rebounding, but it’s an unfortunate situation for us as a team.”
Ridley finished with 12 points, while his teammate Elly Randriamampionona led all players with 26 points.
Two mouthwatering fixtures are scheduled for Tuesday. They include the Group B game between Angola’s Petro de Luanda against Mali’s AS Police.
Petro du Luanda’s roster includes Angola’s star players such as the veteran shooting guard, Carlos Morais.
The other fixture sees Morocco’s AS Sale come up against Cameroon’s Forces Armées et Police Basketball (FAP).
AS Douanes 94–76 GSP
Zamalek 71–55 Ferroviário de Maputo
US Monastir 113–66 GNBC