Basketball Africa League: US Monastir stage a comeback to win final against Petro Atlético

Oladimeji Adeoye

Oladimeji Adeoye

The seven time Tunisian league champions, US Monastir, are champions of the Basketball Africa League this season. They defeated counterpart rival Petro Atlético of Angola by a full-time score of 83-72 at the Rwandan capital Kigali. Petro, who had a massive lead in the second quarter, slipped it off in the third and fourth quarters.

The tournament, which was established in 2019, replaces FIBA’s Africa Basketball League as the continent’s top-tier league. Zamalek of Egypt became the first-ever champions when they won it last year, defeating the US Monastir of Tunisia, who made it to a back to back final.

Coach Miodrag Perisic guided US Monastir to their second consecutive final in their history. Horrendously, they suffered defeat to Zamalek of Egypt in the first edition in 2019. Petro Atlético of Angola had the lead in the first half by 40-33 but lost the second half by 50-33. The results of the game from the first quarter to the fourth was Petro Atlético 72: 17 23 19 13. And Monastir 83: 18 15 24 26.

River Hoopers, who represented Nigeria as the champion of Nigeria Premier Basketball League (NPL) and eleven other countries, participated in this season’s tournament from the group stage. River Hoopers crashed out at the group phase two, a stage below their highest level last year.

Road to Final:

Petro made their way into the final, defeating the ASL of Morocco by a 102-89 score in the knockout out stage. They then played FAP of Cameroon and defeated them by 88-74 score.

US Monastir of Tunisia triumphed over Cape Town Tigers of South Africa in the quarter-final. They defeated the South African outfit by 106-67. They overthrew defending champions Zamalek with a narrow win of 88-81.

Anas Mahmoud, who won the 2021 Dikembe Mutombo BAL Defensive Player of the Year, took home the BAL this year’s Sportsmanship award.

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