BAL

FUS Rabat extend winning streak behind Diarra’s stellar performance

App 12

Temps de lecture : 4 mn 🕗

FUS Rabat extended their winning streak to 3-0 after trouncing Kalahari Conference hosts Cape Town Tigers on Tuesday night in Pretoria.

The Moroccans astutely neutralized Billy Preston, one of Cape Town’s leading scorers, before embarking on a scoring spree to win 84-58. Preston, who didn’t play a single second in the second half, had a 2-for-7 shooting to finish with 5 points, 3 rebounds and 1 turnover in 14:54 minutes. But what hurt the Tigers the most were the 5:39 minutes they remained scoreless between the third and fourth quarter.

The Tigers trailed 44-34 at halftime, but FUS Rabat’s 16-0 run in the third quarter ruined the South African champions’ attempt to fight back.

Malian international player Aliou Diarra came up with another man-of-the-match performance in what was a one-sided affair for most of the second half. Diarra had a 10-for-11 shooting to finish with a team-high of 21 points, 3 blocks while crashing the boards with 6 rebounds in 17:14 minutes on the floor.

FUS Rabat guard Jonathan Jordan, who contributed 8 points, which included a pair of flashy dunks, and a game-high 7 assists, admitted that Diarra had a huge role in the win.

“He is a beast. He is a huge part of what we do here,” Jordan observed, before adding: “Without him we wouldn’t be this far; he is an anchor to our defense. He helps me a lot, personally, I can throw lobs whenever I get in trouble. He is great for us.”

DIARRA HAS BRIGHT FUTURE

Cape Town Tigers’ 18-year-old Storm Gilchrist, who guarded Diarra on a number of occasions, admitted that stopping the 6’9 center is a herculean task.

“He is very athletic
 he gets a lot of rebounds, blocks. He is a serious freak athlete. He has the foot-work that he needs at the moment, but if he gets even better he will be in the NBA, eventually. When I was guarding him, it was a good match-up,” Gilchrist explained.

Diarra’s teammate Kendrick Brown admired how the 22-year-old managed such a high-level performance:

“He picked up a few fouls very early in the game
 I like the way he kept his composure even though he is young; he showed that he can handle adversity. With that performance and that type of focus, it’s a bright future for this kid.”

Samkelo Cele finished with a game-high of 22 points while Cartier Diarra added 11 points in the losing cause.

FUS Rabat will return to action on Thursday when they take on Petro de Luanda.

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THE BAL

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