Zamalek wins the first edition of the Basketball Africa League

Published on : Modified :

The 2021 Basketball Africa League final saw Zamalek’s Egyptians win against US Monastir (76-63) on Sunday, May 30. In Kigali, in front of beautiful people, the Egyptian giant lifted the trophy for the first edition of a competition that wants to gain importance in Africa.

The gratin of the orange ball for a first historic final: the setting was perfect to close this Basketball Africa League (BAL) 2021. On the one hand, there was US Monastir, imperial in the group stage then in the quarterfinals and semi-finals (five matches, five wins). On the other, there was Zamalek, also undefeated and striker of the other big continental piece, the Angolans of Petro de Luanda, in the last four.

In the Kigali Arena, Rwanda, President Paul Kagame took a seat for this poster. He was not the only distinguished guest. Former NBA figures were also present: the Anglo-Sudanese Luol Deng, the French Ian Mahinmi and Joakim Noah, without forgetting of course Dikembe Mutombo. The Congolese giant, a committed partner of BAL, could not miss this meeting.

“An unforgettable night”

On the floor, after the match for third place which saw Petro de Luanda win against the Rwandan Patriots (97-68), Monastir and Zamalek stood up against each other. The first quarter turned to the advantage of the Tunisians (22-17) before the Egyptian White Knights find their rhythm to come back and pass in front of a short header at the break (44-42). Led by Nigerian Chinemelu Elonu, who will end up best player of the match with a double-double (11 points, 12 rebounds), Zamalek maintained his dominance in the third and fourth quarters to win (76-63).

Winner of the African Cup in 1992, the champion of Egypt 2019 becomes the first club to win the Basketball Africa League and therefore achieve a continental double. ” It’s an unforgettable night in the history of Zamalek », Assures the club on social networks. The Senegalese leader Amadou Gallo Fall, president of the BAL, presented the champion with the trophy representing a baobab tree.

Bowl, Mutombo and Olajuwon in the spotlight

To honor the players of this first edition, the organizers awarded three distinctions named after three glories of African basketball: the American-Nigerian Hakeem Olajuwon, the Congolese Dikembe Mutombo and the Sudanese Manute Bol.

The tournament’s best player award, the Hakeem Olajuwon BAL MVP Award, went to Zamalek point guard Walter Hodge. ” It means a lot to me. This is the first time that this competition has been held, and it will be here for a long time Said the Puerto Rican player, who also wears the United States Virgin Islands national team jersey.

Zamalek’s Egyptian pivot, Anas Osama Mahmoud, received the Dikembe Mutombo BAL Defensive Player of the Year, which salutes the best defender. Finally, the Tunisian from Monastir Makrem Ben Romdhane received the Manute Bol VAL Sportsmanship Award, which rewards the exemplarity, fair play, sportsmanship and camaraderie shown throughout the competition.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.