19 October, 2021
19 December
15 Rolly Fula Nganga (BEF)
Game Report
to read

Espoir Fukash beat AS Police in overtime, qualify to BAL 2022


YAOUNDE (Cameroon) - In a do-or-die game for AS Police of Mali and Espoir Fukash of the DR Congo, Rolly Fula played the hero role in the Third-Place game of the Elite 16 Division West on Thursday in Yaounde.

The Congolese international player came off the bench to help Fukash beat AS Police 93-87 in overtime and qualify for the Basketball Africa League (BAL) 2022.

The 28-year-old brought his A-game when Fukash needed it most, and the result is that Fukash entered the history books as the first DR Congo to qualify to the highly-anticipated BAL.

Rolly Fula

Fula was 4-for-8 from the beyond the arc, he was perfect from the charity stripe, making his three shots, before signing out with a game-high 29 points. He also grabbed 11 rebounds to register his second double-double in the Elite 16.

Three other Fukash players - Bobo Kasongo Kasasa, Glory Bobo Mel abd Arsène Mwana Mwamba - scored in double figures combining 37 points, and Arsene Mutomb Mbav, cleared the boards with a team-high 16 rebounds.

It was in the painted area that Fukash proved hard to beat as they out-rebounded AS Police 66-47. Another major difference between the two teams was the rotation, where Fukash bench's outscored AS Police's 54-29 in a game that recorded 20 lead changes.

Playing a second straight game that headed to overtime in less than 24 hours might have impacted negatively AS Police's display on Thursday.  

Reserve N'faly Kanoute led the Bamako-based team in scoring with 20 points, Benke Diarouma added 19 points and 21 rebounds, Cote d'Ivoire international player Stephane Konated contributed 17 points, but those numbers weren't good enough to prevent Fukash from advancing to the BAL 2022.

Espoir Fukash's victory means that five of the six tickets at stake in the BAL Elite 16 have now been determined. Other teams advancing to the BAL regular season via Elite 16 include Ferroviario da Beira (Mozambique), Cobra Sport (South Sudan), F.A.P (Cameroon) and SLAC (Guinea). 

The BAL 2022 season is scheduled to run from March to May with stops in Dakar, Cairo and Kigali.