What you need to know:
- Richards' teammate, Olimpio Cipriano recorded 17 points for Petro, while MVP contender Terrell De Von Stoglin registered 25 points for AS sale.
- On Monday, Zamalek (Egypt) will play GS Petroliers (Algeria) in a recently postponed BAL game due to health protocols at 8.30pm EAT.
Mohab Yasser Abdallatif, the soon to be graduate of the NBA Academy in Dakar, helped his Zamalek team outclass Senegal’s AS Douanes 86-62 at Kigali Arena on Sunday in the ongoing Basketball African League (BAL).
The 18-year-old Mohab finished with 14 points in just 16:38 minutes on the court, to ensure Zamalek improved its Group C mark to 2-0 and advance to the playoff.
During a post-game presser, Mohad said, he did not “care too much about stats, I am a team player.”
But those who continue to follow Mohab’s progress, including his coach Agusti Julbe, were pleased with his performance.
“I am very happy about his performance. Players like him I call them soldiers,” said Zamalek head coach Julbe.
Despite his exploits on Sunday, Mohab had a game to forget last Monda when he finished scoreless in Zamalek’s Group C opener against Ferroviario de Maputo.
”He works really hard. I am sure he was a little disappointed about his performance in the first game. He didn’t lose his temper, remained focused for most of the game, and today, he was great,” explained Julbe.
Zamalek outplayed the Senegalese from start to finish, prompting AS Douanes head coach Mamadou Gueye to describe Zamakek as “much stronger at every level, but our players will certainly learn from this experience.”
AS Douanes led Zamalek by five points early in the game, but the lead was short-lived as the 1992 FIBA Africa Champions Cup winners closed the opening quarter with a 20-14 lead and never looked back.
Mamadou Diop led AS Douanes with 14 points, Mamadou Faye and Egyptian Hassan Attia contributed 11 points each, but Zamalek dominance on the offensive was too good to be outnumbered.
The Egyptian side finished the game with a 55.9% field goal percentage, despite making just 13 of its 25 free-throw attempts and turning the ball over 23 times.
“My players put on a great display. Many people wouldn’t have thought that we would get this far and play as hard as we did,” Gueye insisted.
Zamalek point guard Walter Hodge finished with a game-high 15 points and Ivory Coast international Souleyman Diabate added 11 points off the bench for the Cairo-based club.
With the loss against Zamalek, AS Douanes will need to wait for other groups' results to find out if it’s one of the two best third-placed teams.
In other fixtures of the day, Cameroon’s Forces Armées et Police Basketball Club (FAP) proved too strong for Mali’s AS Police in Group tie to take the game by 87-65.
The win puts the Cameroonians in a better position to advance to the playoffs as one of the two best third-placed teams.
Mohaman Nkene Tsants’ 12 points and 12 rebounds helped FAP keep their slim chances alive, despite Ibrahima Thomas' 22 points and 17 rebounds exploits for AS Police.
“This win is very refreshing to the great group that has put in a lot of effort. In case we are blessed to move forward (to the quarters), we will be grateful and promise to work as harder as any other team in the tournament to show that we deserve to be there,” said FAP head coach Lazare Adie Ngono
Ngono admitted that “In the first games, we committed crucial mistakes in crucial times. We look forward to rectifying our mistakes should we progress to the quarters.”
Meanwhile, in the winner-take-all late-night tip-off, Angola’s Petro de Luanda overpowered Morocco’s AS Sale 97-78 to advance to the playoffs as Group B winners.
Rashad Deane James, who posted 22 points and 12 rebounds for AS Sale, said the Moroccan side should not be judged by a loss to Luanda.
“After this game, we need to be humble, put our heads down to work and move forward. We have a chance of playing this team (Petro de Luanda) twice probably in the next rounds. Then we can be judged on the next game, “Rashad said.
AS Sale and Petro de Luanda played a close contest throughout the first three quarters before the Moroccan side threw in the towel in the fourth quarter to pave way for Luanda’s 19 point sweep at the end of the game.
AS Sale head coach Said El Bouzidi added, “we need to keep the momentum and don’t slow down in the end. If we can stay strong through the game, we can win the game.
Petro de Luanda’s Ryan Richards was unstoppable throughout the game, posting 19 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists to take home the Player of the Game prize.
We showed character but credit to the coach for putting in the strategy and to the guys for respecting the plan, and it worked out,” Said Richards, who faced difficulty integrating himself into the team follow late arrival and Covid-19 quarantine both in Angola and Rwanda.
Richards' teammate, Olimpio Cipriano recorded 17 points for Petro, while MVP contender Terrell De Von Stoglin registered 25 points for AS sale.
On Monday, Zamalek (Egypt) will play GS Petroliers (Algeria) in a recently postponed BAL game due to health protocols at 8.30pm EAT.