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CAF club Red Star hoists first African Champions Cup trophy

MIES (Switzerland) - Central African Republic club Red Star in 1972 made history in one of FIBA's iconic moments as they hoisted the trophy after winning the first African Champions Cup.

On home soil in the capital of Bangui, Red Star battled past Stade Malien of Mali 71-68 to claim continental glory in the new premier men's club competition on the African continent. Another CAF team, Hit Tresor, won the 1973 title and followed it up with the 1975 crown. Senegalese side AS Forces Armees captured the 1974 trophy and won the event in 1979 and 1981 and AS Police gave Senegal more continental prestige in 1983.

From 1979 to 2004 the tournament was run biennially except for championships in 1991 and 1992 to change the years to even-numbered seasons.

The competition started taking place annually in 2004, by which time the single most dominant period by any club had already started. Angola side Primeiro de Agosto took the cup in 2002 and 2004 and then strung together four straight crowns from 2007 to 2010, adding two more trophies in 2012 and 2013 as record champions and producing legendary national team players such as Olimpio Cipriano, Joaquim Gomes, Carlos Almeida and Miguel Lutonda.

Angola's record league and cup champions D'Agosto were not the only club from the country to win the African Champions Cup. Petro Atletico entered the record books in 2006 and added another championship in 2015. And Recreativo do Libolo made it three from Angola when they defeated Etoile de Rades in 2014.

Etoile Sportif Sahel from Tunisia was the only club to break up the Angolan reign from 2006 to 2015, taking the 2011 trophy. Morocco side AS Sale defeated Etoile Rades for the 2017 trophy, after which the name of the competition was changed to FIBA Africa Basketball League.

Primeiro de Agosto, pictured above, claimed the final championship in the history of the event in 2019. The competition was stopped in 2019 and replaced by the Basketball Africa League (BAL) in 2020.