21 - 24
September 2023
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Third-Place Game preview: First podium finish for either Egypt or China

SINGAPORE (Singapore) - The FIBA Intercontinental Cup 2023 Singapore will add another layer of excitement to its history books on Sunday. A team from either China or Egypt will climb the podium for the first time ever.

How did they get here?

Al Ahly won the Basketball Africa League last season, and confirmed the upward trajectory of Egyptian basketball by picking up an impressive win over the NBA G League Ignite to start the competition in Singapore. They lost their second game to Sesi Franca, finishing second in Group A.

Meanwhile, the Zhejiang Golden Bulls managed to defeat FIBA West Asia Super League champs Al Manama, but were nowhere near of upsetting Telekom Baskets Bonn in their second game in Singapore. They finished second in Group B with a 1-1 record.

Key matchup

Norris Cole is still in fine form, even at 34. He averaged 15.0 points with 6.0 assists in his first two games for Al Ahly, fitting in nicely with Ehab Amin in the backcourt, showing glimpses of that basketball that made him a two-time NBA champ with the Miami Heat.

The Golden Bulls will look to Jarmar Gulley to keep Cole quiet on the day. Gulley had a 15-point outing in 19 minutes against Al Manama, leading the Chinese Basketball Association runners-up to a win that put them in the Third Place Game in the first place.

Stats don't lie

Al Ahly have a lot of firepower inside the paint, averaging 22.0 offensive rebounds in their two games in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, good enough to give them 16.5 second chance points, +9 compared to the Golden Bulls in the same department.

Zhejiang will try to use their depth to fight off Al Ahly's size. They average 32.5 bench points, +9.5 on Al Ahly in second unit scoring.

History books

This is the first time that a Chinese club has played in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, and they already have a chance of finishing on the podium with a win on Sunday.

Al Ahly are the third African team to play this competition. Their compatriots from Zamalek finished fourth in Cairo in 2022, while US Monastir repeated that fourth spot finish in Tenerife in February 2023.

Al Ahly have a chance to become the first African team to reach the podium.

Where to watch?

The game tips off at 15:00 local time, which is also 15:00 in Zhejiang, and 10:00 in Egypt. Tencent have the broadcasting rights in China, while OnTime Sports own the same in Egypt.

The rest of the world can turn to Courtside 1891 or YouTube for streaming.