How Jones, Gbinije, Chinyelu, Malale, Darlan ruled Day 2 of Road to BAL East Division
JOHANNESBURG (South Africa) - The Road to BAL East Division Elite 16 qualifiers group stages are nearing their conclusion, but not before we take a look back at how five players set themselves apart from others and ruled Day 2 on Wednesday at Ellis Park Indoor Arena in Johannesburg.
Falando Jones (City Oliers)
The City Oilers guard scored 26 points (vs Matero Magic) that helped the Ugandan club secure safe passage to the Semi-Finals on Wednesday.
Jones not only had a field goal percentage of 50% and an efficiency rating of 27 but he also contributed 9 rebounds.
Apart from the statistics, the shooting guard is a vocal leader on the court. He encouraged his teammates when he played and from the bench.
Michael Gbinije (Cape Town Tigers)
The 30-year-old who helped Nigeria to their only FIBA AfroBasket title in 2015, was cold in certain stages against Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
When the hosts picked up their momentum, the 2016 Rio Olympian also started to catch fire, which led to him finishing with 19 points and a 54.55% field-goal percentage in another productive night.
Rueben Chinyelu (NBA Academy Africa)
The NBA Academy player, who recently committed to the Washington State University, brought his A-game in the Academy's 79-69 win over Burundi's Urunani.
The 19-year-old's double-double (19 points and 17 rebounds) against the East Africans propelled the Academy to their first win in the Road to BAL qualifiers. Chinyelu also had an efficiency rating of 33 in the game.
It was his best display in the Road to BAL so far.
Hilario Malale (Ferroviario da Beira)
Beira improved to 2-0 in Group B of the East Division Elite 16, and Malale put on a show off the bench.
After a 3-point performance against Matero Magic, the 22-year-old point guard made full use of his opportunity.
He was a part of the Beira second unit that played a huge role in beating Madagascar's COSPN 84-53. Malale was not afraid to have a go at the Malagasy club's defence and was rewarded with 11 points in the game.
Serge Darlan (NBA Academy Africa)
Almost 24 hours after contributing 20 points in an 85-60 defeat to Cape Town Tigers, 18-year-old Darlan reminded everyone why he is one of the top prospects to watch out for in the East Division.
The Central African Republic international player, who played for Petro de Luanda in the Basketball Africa League (BAL) Season 2, was a constant headache to Urunani who struggled to guard him for most of the 32 minutes that he spent on the floor on Wednesday.
The 1,98m (6ft 6in) guard made 6 of his 8 three-point attempts to finish with 24 points, while contributing 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals to help the Academy beat Urunani 79-69 in what was their first win in two games.