AS Police secure maiden Basketball Africa League ticket
YAOUNDE (Cameroon) - There was an outburst of joy at the Yaoundé Sports complex as Mali's AS Police became the last outfit from the "Elite 16" West Division to secure a ticket for the maiden Basketball Africa League BAL after an adrenaline-charged game.
The Malian side had a poor start being led in the first quarter but a revival from the West Africans spurred by a vigorous Ibrahim Haidara cut the deficit to a point with ABC of Cote d’Ivoire leading 20-19 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter Haidara continued with his impressive form hitting 12 points and 6 rebounds while Malcolm White contributed 9 points as their side dominated.
The Malians demonstrated great resilience in defense with an impressive 15 rebounds with the bench contributing 16 points as they cruised to a 42-31 at the break.
The third quarter was a close contest with an inspiring duo of Abraham Sie and Lassina Konate firing ABC to a 17-15 lead with the quarter closing at 57-48.
BASKET MALI OYEEEEE— MAMADOU BOUBEL KONAT (@BOUBEL77) December 1, 2019
L’AS POLICE DE BAMAKO SE QUALIFIE POUR LA SAISON RÉGULIÈRE DE LA LIGUE DES CLUBS CHAMPIONS NBA AFRIQUE cet après-midi à Yaoundé en battant l’ABC de COTE D’IVOIRE 71 à 69 pic.twitter.com/QhVK1imVYA
The last period was sheer drama as two successive 3 pointers from Sie gave ABC a shocking 63-62 lead. Despite being a marvel to watch with a game best 25 points and 8 assists Sie couldn’t motivate ABC to bury the game.
AS Police however demonstrated unprecedented character with Benke Diarouma and Timothy Steed contributing 25 points to help their side secure a crucial 71-69 win to seal their spot in next year’s basketball bonanza.
AS Police coach Moussa Sogore was thrilled that his side could secure their spot for the BAL 2020 Regular Season: "This is one of the best things that could happen to us. The players showed great zeal and this means a lot to us. We know this will spur more persons to invest in the discipline and we’ll continue working hard ahead of the BAL."
AS Police join GSP of Algeria and the hosts FAP in locking down their spot for the Basketball Africa League.