Basketball Africa League Playoffs: Quarterfinals, Day 2

US Monastir and Zamalek punch their ticket to BAL semifinals.


• Stats

US Monastir defeats Cape Town 106-67

Michael Dixon wanted to make sure that US Monastir’s BAL campaign didn’t end in the quarterfinals on Sunday, and he delivered one of his best performances of the season.

The former Memphis and Missouri University product produced a man-of-the-game display as US Monastir demolished the Cape Town Tigers by 39 points.

Dixon shot 9-for-12 from the field, including four 3-pointers en route to a game-high 23 points. The win was Monastir’s fifth in six BAL games this season, and it ensured them a place in the semifinals where they will take on Zamalek.

Radhouane Slimane opened the game with a 3-pointer, in what was Monastir’s first of 14 makes from downtown. Cape Town’s new addition Cleanthony Early responded right after with a triple of his own, but the former New York Knick was unable to carry his team to victory.

Slimane finished with 16 points, Souleymane Diabate and Mokhator Ghayaza poured in 13 points each off the bench, and reserve Neji Jaziri, who checked in the late in the fourth quarter, made the most of his 4:34 minutes to contribute 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting.

Billy Preston led the way for Cape Town with 17 points. Early added 15 and Pieter Prinsloo buried four of his seven 3-point attempts to finish with 14 points.

Zamalek defeats S.L.A.C 66-49

Seydou Legacy Athétique Club (SLAC) will try to become the first team to stop Zamalek’s Basketball Africa League (BAL) unbeaten run on Sunday in the last of four 2022 BAL quarterfinals.

For SLAC, this a tall task, considering how solid the BAL defending champions have been. Zamalek currently enjoy a 11-0 record dating back to last year’s BAL. It’s the only team that has never tasted defeat in the history of the competition so far.

The reigning BAL champions, who qualified automatically to this season, cruised to a 5-0 record in the Nile Conference last month in Cairo. Zamalek remain the only undefeated team in the 2022 BAL season.

SLAC qualified to the BAL through one of the FIBA-run Road to BAL qualifiers late last year. They won two out of five games in the Sahara Conference in March in Dakar.

Unlike Zamalek, who topped the Nile Conference, SLAC finished fourth to clinch the last Sahara Conference spot for the BAL playoffs.

With an average of 88 ppg, Zamalek ranks second in points scored per game after AS Salé (90), while the Guinean champions pour in 78 points per contest.

Rebounds and shooting efficiency are where Zamalek and SLAC look similar. They each tally 40 boards per game, and Zamalek registers a field goal percentage of 46 compared to SLAC’s 44.