21 - 24
September 2023
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Day 2 recap: Sesi Franca dominate; Golden Bulls off to winning start

SINGAPORE (Singapore) - The second day of  action saw Sesi Franca end Al Ahly's hopes of reaching the Final with a comfortable win and he Zhejiang Golden Bulls showing  no mercy for Al Manama, to set up a big game on Saturday.

Al Ahly players said they arrived in Singapore with a dream of playing the Final, but after their 90-70 defeat on Friday, it's clear they cannot finish top of the group anymore. It's going to be either Sesi Franca or NBA G League Ignite who will advance from Group A to the title game.

The Basketball Champions League Americas winners are feeling good about their chances after a dominant performance against the BAL champions, Al Ahly. Three players scored 20+ points, led by 41-year-old David Jackson who had 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, with 5 rebounds and 4 assists, too.

"We shared the ball, we wanna see our teammates do good. The extra passes are a big staple in the way we play and tonight we showed it," Jackson praised Franca's ball movement and 24 assists.

Lucas Dias finished with 22, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 4 assists, getting a team-high +30 in the +/- tab of the boxscore, while Marcio Santos went to work inside the arc to collect 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting, and 9 boards.

"Everybody holds everybody accountable. We know what we are capable of, each player wants to do their best, we know that we need everybody to compete in this tournament. Fans who traveled here, they know we love them and we appreciate them, they always show us support and give us energy on the court," Jackson added on the subjects of Franca's depth and the fans' support in Singapore.

Coach Helinho Rubens will be happy with his team's efficiency, shooting 20-of-28 from the two-point range on the day.

Al Ahly got 17 points from Norris Cole, but there were some tired legs after a late game on Thursday and an early tip-off on Friday. They have to wait for the end of the Franca v Ignite game to learn if they would play for third or fifth spot on Sunday.

Golden Bulls on target

Zhejiang Golden Bulls watched Al Manama's game against Telekom Baskets Bonn on Thursday and figured out a way to defeat the FIBA West Asia Super League champions. They did the exact same thing as Bonn, knocking down three-pointer after three-pointer to win it 95-78.

Eight different players made a triple, the team scored 16 of them on 38 tries, and Reginald Perry led five men in double figures with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

"My teammates just started it off, they knocked down a lot of shots in the second half, and it just opened it up for everybody," Perry praised the team effort after the win.

"It's very important to get everybody in the rhythm, going into a big game, coach puts a lot of emphasis on it before each game and each practice. This team can get a lot better, I was sitting over there in the third quarter just realizing how good we could really be and how good we already are. But we could be a lot better," he added with a smile, saving something for the upcoming battle with Bonn.

The math is clear, the winner of that one will also be the group winner and reach the Final on Sunday.

Jarmar Gulley had 15 points, Malik Newman provided 14 off the bench, while hot shooting guard Wenbo Lu and Qian Wu combined for 22 on 5-of-9 from three-point range.

Al Manama suffered two defeats, but looked way better than in their first game against Bonn. Sir' Dominic Pointer scored a team-high 19, Ahmed Haji finished with 16, and Latavious Williams had a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double.

They will move to the Fifth Place Game on Sunday, no matter what happens in Saturday's games.