What you need to know:
- In the next game of Day 4 matchups, Senegal’s AS Douanes takeson Clube Ferroviário de Maputo in Group C.
- Meanwhile, the Wednesday night game between Egyptian side Zamalek 🇪🇬 and Algeria’s Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers (GSP) has been postponed in what the BAL says is “in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols. The game will be rescheduled at a later date,”
Home side Patriots became the first team to qualify for the Basketball Africa League quarter-finals after edging out Madagascar’s Gendarmerie Nationale Basketball Club (GNBC) 78-72 in Group A at Kigali Arena, Rwanda on Wednesday.
Patriots found themselves chasing the match throughout the first three quarters, before staging a stunning comeback in the last five minutes to win the game by six points.
This is not the first time that the Malagasy basketball club has given the Rwandan side a tough job.
During the BAL qualifiers in December 2019 in Kigali, Patriots needed two buzzer beaters to defeat GNBC, thanks to Sedar Sengamba and Jean Victor Mukama’s clutch shots.
“GNBC is a good team, even during the qualifiers and the final game of the qualifiers it was very hard to defend against them. Thankfully, we won the game,” said Ndizeye Dieudonne, Patriots' small forward, who also featured in the BAL qualifiers against GNBC.
Ndizeye (13), Bush Wamukota (11), and Brandon Costner (16) registered double digit points to help Patriots overcome a stubborn GNBC.
Costner hit a crucial three-pointer in the last five minutes of the game to give Patriots the much-needed first lead in front of a sizable home crowd inside Kigali Arena.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game for us because GNBC had a bad result against US Monastir. But we managed to bounce back thanks to good defence and offensive game after the break,” said Patriots head coach, Alan Major.
Coach Major admitted that his team were "a little surprised by the sense of urgency GNBC brought to the game" saying that this is now a lesson to his charges going forward.
After losing two games, GNBC now need a miracle to progress to the quarter finals as one the best losers.
"We led through three quarters, then six or seven minutes (before the end of the game) I think we failed to manage the game, we rushed! But I am proud of the guys," said GNBC head coach, Nantenaina Ranaivosoa.
In the next game of Day 4 match-ups, Senegal’s AS Douanes will take on Clube Ferroviário de Maputo in Group C.
Meanwhile, the Wednesday night game between Egyptian side Zamalek and Algeria’s Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers (GSP) has been postponed in what the BAL says is “in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols. The game will be rescheduled for a later date.