Najah guides AS Sale into FINAL FOUR
SALE(Morocco) - Abderrahim Najah scored an impressive 27 points and picked nine rebounds to help the reigning African champions AS Sale past a stubborn Civil Defenders side 96-77 to book a prestigious place in the Africa Basketball League 2019 FINAL FOUR.
Playing at home in front of their incredible fans, AS Sale led from the start with a 22-15 lead in the first quarter but tables turned in the second quarter with the visitors taking charge of the game to cut down their deficit to just four points at the break 49-45.
After the break, as if possessed, Najah commanded his space in the paint and displayed a performance that saw the home fans singing his name at every possession which in turn motivated him to be relentless despite a never-give-up attitude from the Nigerians.
The battle became physical but the Moroccans were ready to put their bodies on the line to fight for their pride as the defending champions and to keep their hopes of winning the title back-to-back alive.
Winning the second half 22-17 and 25-15 handed AS Sale what they had fought for and indeed character and experience came in handy.
Brandon Wood and former MVP Wayne Arnold scored 18 points apiece with the latter adding eight rebounds.
The Moroccans can now look at their journey thus far and emphasise to the rest of Africa that indeed their victory last year was not a one-off. It was earned and rightly so.
AS Sale join Primeiro de Agosto (Angola) and Egypt's Smouha SC in the FINAL FOUR of Africa's premier club basketball competition that has been thrilling thus far and is promising more drama in the business end.