03 October, 2023
26 November
Game Report
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Dramatic win for Dynamo to avenge Pazi's loss in group C, reach semis


JOHANNESBURG (South Africa) - A befitting end to the group stage at the ongoing East Division Elite 16 Basketball Africa League (BAL) qualifiers. 

The East African derby pitting Group C winners Pazi BBC of Tanzania and wild card beneficiaries Dynamo BBC of Burundi was by far the most dramatic matchup, so far. 

Not only did the 'underdogs' Dynamo picked a clutch 88-85 win, but the match had to be decided in two overtimes, the first time that has happened in the history of BAL Qualifiers. 

Pazi gave up a 9-point advantage in a 37-28 halftime score to trail 49-46 at the end of the third quarter, having allowed the Burundians a 21-9 run in the third stanza. 

The match was tied 67 points in regulation time with a Laundry Ndikumana's layup that broke the handful of Dynamo fans' hearts as they only had to hold on to the lead for 13 seconds. 

The script repeated itself in the first overtime, only this time it was Israel Otobo's layup that kept the Burundians in the match. 

Pazi were done hard by a trey that seemed to have gone all in only to roll out of the net, a situation that later became a bone of contention as the Tanzanians felt that they had been robbed. 

TURNING POINT: A third-quarter 21-9 performance for Dynamo made all the difference as they gave themselves a fighting chance, an effort that paid off as they are now playing in the Final Four. 

HERO: It would be tough to point out who stood out in this edge-of-the-seat encounter as Dynamo's star Israel Otobo who scored 20 and picked 18 rebounds almost cost his side the win twice, with some costly mistakes.

His contribution as well as skipper David Deng's (18 points and 14 rebounds ) cannot be wished away. Clement Karabona's 17 boards were also crucial for the side. 

STATS DON'T LIE: With 8 lead changes and 12 ties, this was anyone's match to win after the third quarter. Dynamo's second chance points at 32-15 and 14-4 on bench points stand out for the eventual winners.

BOTTOM LINE: Dynamo, who made it to the Elite 16 on a wild card pick the final slot into the semis and have a chance to qualify for the 2024 BAL. 

WHAT WAS SAID: "Today we believed in ourselves. We came ready for a tough game and the coaches prepared us and kept motivating us. We knew as long as there was some time on the clock, we could win this game," David Deng, Captain Dynamo. 

"Dynamo played with heart. They knew they lost in Tanzania and came here ready for revenge and they outran us in the third quarter to make it a close game. They have good players who can run and that made all the difference for them in the end. It is a tough loss but we live to fight another day." - Henry Mwinuka, Pazi head coach.