19 October, 2021
19 December
8 Joel Almeida (FAP)
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Almeida sparks F.A.P, Nigelec BC dispatch Espoir Fukash in opener of Elite 16 West Division


YAOUNDE (Cameroon) -  Cameroon's Forces Armees et Police (F.A.P) and Niger's champions Nigelec Basket Club opened their Elite 16 Division West campaigns with authority on Saturday in Yaounde.

In the first game, Nigelec BC out-classed BC Espoir Fukash of the Democratic Republic of Congo to start their Road to the Basketball Africa League (BAL) with a comprehensive 104-91 victory.

The Nigeriens looked perfect for most of the one-sided encounter. They never trailed, and led by as many 20 points at some point.

As much as Espoir Fukash tried to turn things around, Nigelec BC never panicked, showing an impressive composure that was translated in their 54-48 half time lead.

Nigelec BC's game plan worked to perfection at both ends of the court, but it was in the defensive end that they disrupted their opponents' strategy. Espoir Fukash not only were careless with the ball, turning it over 25 times and allowed 13 steals, but they also needed to find answers to their struggles in the bench, which contributed 53 points (more than half of their 91 points).

With the win, Nigelec BC take the lead of Group G2 before facing SLAC on Sunday.

The Elite 16 West Division's first day resumed with host Cape international Joel Almeida taking a leading role in F.A.P's 83-64 triumph over Cote d'Ivoire champions S.O.A

Almeida, a known sharpshooter, was 4-for-5 from beyond the arc to finish with a game-best 18 points. Chad international player Ronald Nato Kolmia backed Almeida after scoring nine of his eleven points off bench in just seven minutes of action.

Dragan Tubak led the Ivorians with 12 points, Ulrich Mohamed Kra - the other S.O.A player to score in double figures - added 10 points off the bench.

S.O.A had a short-lived six-point at some point, but F.A.P reminded their opponents who rules in Yaounde as they managed a 26-point lead (their biggest). 

Pumped-up by the home-court factor, F.A.P's head coach Francois Enyegue used all his twelve players, who contributed at least one point each.

But the biggest difference between F.A.P and S.O.A lied on their rotations, where the Cameroonian champions' bench contributed 42 points (more than half of F.A.P's 83 points) and outscored their opponents 42-26.

While F.A.P will enjoy a rest day on Sunday, S.O.A will need to do better against Mali's AS Police to keep their Group G1 aspirations alive.