What you need to know:
- The home team, Patriots BBC will face Mozambique’s Ferroviario de Maputo for the second time, having previously locked horns in an intense game of the BAL Division East qualifiers,.
- The Rwandan side will be looking to capitalise on the home advantage backed by a limited number of passionatefans to push them to the last four of the competition.
The Basketball Africa League (BAL) enters its business end with the playoffs set to tip off Wednesday at the Kigali Arena.
Tunisia’s US Monastir, Rwanda’s Patriots BBC, Morocco's AS Salé, Petro Atletico de Luanda of Angola, Ferroviario de Maputo of Mozambique and Egyptian champions Zamalek qualified automatically for the playoffs.
They were joined by Douanes (Senegal) and F.A.P (Cameroon) as the two best third-placed teams to make the last eight.
The home team, Patriots BBC will face Mozambique’s Ferroviario de Maputo for the second time, having previously locked horns in an intense game of the BAL Division East qualifiers,.
The Rwandan side will be looking to capitalise on the home advantage backed by a limited number of passionatefans to push them to the last four of the competition.
In the final group game of the Basketball Africa League (BAL), Egyptian champions, Zamalek swept aside their north African fellows, Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers (GSP) of Algeria 97-64 on their way to topping Group C on Monday.
Right from tip-off to the last buzzer, Zamalek were brilliant, save for the third quarter where they allowed GSP some breathing space to score a dozen of points.
At the break, Zamalek led 54-27 in a largely one-sided game and their dominance was evident with all 12 of their players playing at least six minutes.
However, Zamalek head coach Agust Julbe didn't seem to get carried away by his team’s exploits.
“(Tonight) we had the worst defensive game in this tournament, considering that GSP missed two key players. We could have done better. But, in the end, it’s a success that we won three games, we moved on to the next stage, and, hopefully, we’ll keep winning games,” Julbe said.
GSP played without its two leading scorers, Mohamed Harat and Abdellah Hamdini. They fought hard, even going on a 6-0 mini-run in the third quarter, but Zamalek didn’t panic. They remained in total control, leading from start to finish.
GSP was led by Algerian international player Seddik Touati, who finished with a game-high 20 points. Hichem Benayad-Cherif scored 10 points and Merouane Bourkaid added 11 points for the five-time defending Algerian champions.
“I am happy with the win. We had only 18 turnovers today (after averaging 25.5 turnovers in the first two games). That’s an improvement compared to our first two matches,” said Moustafa Mohamed Elmekawi in the post-game presser.
Outscoring its opponent 60-32 in the paint and in the fast-break (38-5) exemplified Zamalek’s sense of urgency in the game that eliminated GSP (0-3) from the BAL.