BAL: US Monastir Secures Win Over GNBC In Group A Matchup
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US Monastir is leading the charge as the Group A favorite. The Tunisians are on the back of a double domestic success in the last four weeks after clinching the Tunisian Cup and the Tunisian League trophies.
To add to their chances, US Monastir’s roster consists of seven members of the Tunisian National Team, who currently hold the African Champions tag. The team also added Lebanese international imports Wael Arakji and Majok Ater James and Tunisian Mourad El Mabrouk.
Arakji, 6’4” point guard, and 6’10” center James, have been fundamental for the Lebanese national team in recent times, and bring new prowess to US Monastir. In meantime, sharpshooter El Mabrouk needs no introduction such is his ability of making incredible long-range shots.
US Monastir has never won a continental competition, but the closest they got to winning the trophy happened in 2017 when they finished third in the FIBA Africa Champions Cup. US Monastir’s main characteristic is often compared to the one of the Tunisian National Team, which relies mostly on tactical discipline, and a productive bench.
Madagascar’s GNBC are the underdogs of this tournament, but there is no better way to describe GNBC than a team that has “absolutely nothing to lose.”
Back in December 2019, the Malagasy almost caused the biggest upset in the BAL Qualifiers, although the Rwandans stepped in overtime to secure a 94-88 overtime win in front of a tireless home crowd.
GNBC’s trio of Fabrice Mandimbison, Randriamampionona, Kiady Mijoro Razanamahenina and Cameron Ridle continue to remind everyone they aren’t in Kigali to make up numbers.
US Monastir is predicted to move on to the knockout stages, but GNBC will put up a fight.
Zamalek vs. Ferroviario de Maputo
It’s been 19 years since Zamalek last won the continent’s flagship clubs’ competition, nevertheless, the Egyptians’ deep bench and talented roster – led by Cote d’Ivoire’s Souleyman Diabate – are in the Kigali bubble to rewrite a new chapter in the history of the competition.
Now, join Diabate to another point guard Walter Hodge, a two-time NCAA champion under Billy Donovan at University of Florida, and it tells the story of Zamalek’s backcourt.
But, that’s not all about the winners of the 1992 FIBA Africa Champions Cup as the Agusti Julbe-coached team count on the services of rising star Mohab Yasser Abddalatif and Donovan Mitchell’s former teammate at University of Louisville, Anas Mahmoud.
Abddalatif, on the other hand, is poised to graduate from NBA Academy Africa this year and becomes the first NBA Academy prospect to play in the BAL.
Mozambique champions Ferroviario de Maputo kept most of the team that finished 8-2 in the BAL Qualifiers, but they have more reasons to stay positive, especially because of the addition of former University of Texas star Myck Kabongo and Demarcus Holland. Former Spain international Alvaro Masa remains vital for the Mozambicans.
A.S Douanes vs. G.S. Pétroliers
Day 2 of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) tips off at 8a ET as Group C gets started with GSP taking on AS Douanes in Kigali Arena in Kigali, Rwanda. The game can be seen on NBA.com, NBA App, theBAL.com, ESPN+, and NBA TV.
The Algerians of GSP have dominated the domestic league, but taking on Africa’s top teams could prove challenging as the Petroliers arrived in Kigali without a single import player.
The good news for GSP, however, is the addition of power forward Mohamed Harat, often labelled as the best player of the Algerian national team.
Adding former South Carolina University point guard Louis Adams was a massive move for the Senegalese champions, but the signing of former Real Madrid Modou Mbaye says volumes about the AS Douanes BAL intentions.
Following the first game of the day, Maputo and Zamalek with meet in the other Group C tilt (11:30a ET, NBA.com, NBA App, NBA TV, ESPN+,theBAL.com), while Group A’s GNBC and US Monastir will close the three-game day at 3p ET (NBA.com, NBA App, ESPN+, theBAL.com).
Check out stats and schedule below