BAL

GSP, FAP qualify to the regular season of Basketball Africa League 2020

YAOUNDE (Cameroon) – GSP of Algeria and Cameroon’s FAP became the latest clubs to qualify for the inaugural Basketball Africa League regular season.

In Saturday’s first Semi-Final of West Division of BAL’s qualifiers in Yaounde, the Algerians outclassed Mali’s AS Police to secure a crucial 76-61 victory.

Algerian internationals Nadjem Eddine Belkacemi – who converted a staggering seven three-pointers in ten attempts – and Mohamed Touati, who finished with a game-high 17 rebounds – led the way finishing with a combining 40 points.

Even though Ibrahima Cherif Haidara, Malcolm White and Timothy Steed tried to keep AS Police at bay, GSP never really gave the Malians a chance. The North Africans not only finished with a 63-48 rebounding advantage but they also moved the ball better than AS Police, and eventually it came as no surprise that they never trailed.

Former Algerian international Soufiane Boulaya, now serving as head coach of GSP, noted: “Our objective coming to Yaounde was to qualify for the BAL, we’re glad we could achieve this but it’s not over for us. We have a crucial final tomorrow and we’re hoping to give the fans a great time.”

Joining GSP in the regular season are Cameroon’s FAP, who needed to step up in the second Semi-Final of the day, to beat Cote d’Ivoire’s Abidjan Basketball Club 77-64.

With a 33-26 lead at halftime, FAP realised they couldn’t allow the Ivorians to cause what could have been a shocking result, and therefore, came with timely shots from Jordan Rezendes and Engelbert Beleck to seal their pass to the elite competition.

Rezendes finished with 15points, Beleck added 15 off the bench while ABC’s Stephane Konate led all scorers with 20 points.

“Qualifying for the Basketball Africa League is something amazing. It’s a great opportunity for us to sail through to the tournament. It will motivate many more local based players to work hard and be better. The tournament is a game changer for Cameroon’s basketball,” said FAP’s Etienne Tametong, who contributed 12 points in the winning cause.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, AS Police and ABC will do battle for the right to secure the last West Division ticket for the regular season.

Both GSP and FAP join already-qualified representatives from Angola (Petro de Luanda), Egypt (Zamalek), Morocco (AS Sale), Nigeria (Rivers Hoopers), Senegal (AS Douanes) and Tunisia (Union Monastir).

The BAL Management announced Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Rabat (Morocco) and either Monastir or Tunis (Tunisia) as the host cities where the inaugural BAL regular season will take place and Kigali (Rwanda) as the host city for the first-ever BAL Final Four and BAL Final.

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FIBA

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