03 October, 2023
26 November
3 Ayoub Nouhi (MAR)
31/10/2023
Game Report
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FUS Rabat make bold statement with win in Group B opener

 

YAOUNDE (Cameroon) - Morocco Champions, FUS Rabat on Tuesday stayed focused to take an 84-76 victory over ABC Fighters in the opening game of Group B in the West Division Elite 16 in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The Rabat-based side left nothing to chance in edging ABC Fighters who allowed their fighting spirit to drop after coming out strong in the first few minutes of the second quarter after trailing 19-8 in the first quarter.

ABC didn't keep up the tempo of their advantage but allowed FUS to make a comeback just before halftime with a score of 25-23 in their favor.

Efforts by Samson Akano who poured in 9 points in the first half were not fully complimented by his mates as FUS rallied back to punish the former African champions.

Samson Akano

TURNING POINT: FUS Rabat started on a good tempo and ensured that they had a good lead. Point guard Johnathan Jordan had fun on the court as he controlled the game and provided the passes to Prince Ifeanyi Orizu and Benmhine Soufiane to do the damage.

Despite the strong performance that ABC put up in the last quarter of the game, which saw Ama Echi Okafor sinking 3s, it was not enough to catch up with FUS Rabat.

HEROES: Jonathan Jordan was the go-to-go man for FUS Rabat as he was in total control for the 33:16 minutes he was on the court. He was responsible for breaking the defense of ABC just as was the case with Aliou Diarra until he fouled out.

Johnathan Jordan was a constant threat to ABC

Soufiane Benhmine and Abdelhakim Zouita cannot be ignored for their contributions. Though Benhmine could only account for 5 points in the game, his experience was on display and for Zouita, who scored 13 points, led like a true helmsman on the court.

Samson Akano led the way for ABC, finishing with a game-high 19 points, Ismael Diarra added 13 and Ama Echi Okafor contributed 9 points in the losing cause.

STATS DON'T LIE: At some point in the game, FUS Rabat led by as many as 17 points. And although ABC won the rebounding battle (38-34), making only 12 of their 23 free-throws (52 percent) hindered the Ivorian champions to fight back. 

And to make matters worse for ABC, both Stephane Konate and James Westbrook could only contribute two points apiece.

Ayoub Nouhi had a 5-for-9 shooting, finishing with 17 points 

BOTTOM LINE: FUS Rabat make bold statement with win in Group B opener. A good start for the Moroccan champions and this will boost their confidence going to their next game. For ABC Fighters, the battle for survival has just started and they will need to be a lot better than they were against in this Group B clash.

THEY SAID: "The most important thing was that we had to play good defense to win this game. They came back in the second quarter but we had to fight back to keep the lead and win." - Said El Bouzidi, Coach of FUS Rabat.

"We lost this game to lack of discipline and not keeping to the instructions of the coach. The coach asked that we execute the plays correctly, but that didn’t happen. We have learned from this and will get better." - Stephane Konate ABC Fighters forward.

FIBA