BAL Playoffs Bound: US Monastir’s Historic Comeback and AS Douanes’ Victory Secure Spots

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US Monastir: Historic comeback, first playoff spot.
Rivers Hoopers: Nigerian team makes playoffs.
AS Douanes: Secures final playoff spot.
APR: Rwandan team eliminated, disappointing end.

In a remarkable turn of events, US Monastir achieved a historic comeback in the Basketball Africa League (BAL), becoming the first team in league history to overcome a 0-3 deficit to secure a playoff spot with a 3-3 record.

The Comeback Journey

After a shaky start, losing their first three games in the conference, US Monastir rallied back, defeating every team they previously lost to in the first round, ultimately finishing with a 3-3 record.

The Decisive Victory

Their path to the playoffs was solidified with a stunning victory over Rivers Hoopers, clinching a postseason berth for the first time since their championship season in 2022. Monastir’s dominant performance saw them outclass the Hoopers, avenging their earlier 21-point loss with a commanding 73-62 win.

Key Players Shine

Chris Crawford and Ater Majok led the charge for US Monastir, with Crawford contributing 21 points and Majok notching his first double-double of the season with 18 points. Their stellar performance set the tone for Monastir’s triumphant comeback.

A Lesson Learned

Reflecting on their journey, Firas Lahyani emphasized the importance of unity and perseverance. He acknowledged the tough lessons learned from their initial setbacks and credited their eventual success to team cohesion and determination.

Rivers Hoopers: A Valiant Effort

Despite the loss, Rivers Hoopers made history as the first Nigerian team to qualify for the playoffs. Missing key player Will Perry, they fought hard, with Kelvin Amayo and Devine leading the scoring effort.

AS Douanes: Sealing the Deal

In another pivotal matchup, AS Douanes secured the final playoff spot with a convincing 79-54 victory over APR. Led by standout performances from Mike Fofana, Abdoulaye Harouna, and Madut Akec, AS Douanes showcased their dominance and secured their postseason berth.

Disappointment for APR

APR’s journey came to an end as they became the first Rwandan team to be eliminated in the group stages. Despite a valiant effort, they were unable to overcome AS Douanes’ relentless pressure and solid defense.

Looking Ahead

With the playoffs set to commence from May 24 to June 1 at BK Arena in the Rwandan capital, the stage is set for an exhilarating showdown among the top teams in African basketball. US Monastir, Rivers Hoopers, AS Douanes, and other qualifying teams are poised to showcase their skills and compete for BAL supremacy.

Key Performances

Chris Crawford: Led US Monastir with 21 points, pivotal in securing their playoff spot with stellar performance.
Ater Majok: Recorded a double-double with 18 points, showcasing dominance in crucial victory.
Mike Fofana: Scored a game-high 27 points for AS Douanes, instrumental in securing their playoff berth.
Abdoulaye Harouna: Contributed 17 points, with 12 from beyond the arc, crucial for AS Douanes’ victory.
Madut Akec: Nearly secured a double-double with 14 points and 9 rebounds, demonstrating key role in AS Douanes’ success.
Devine: Scored 13 points for Rivers Hoopers, displaying resilience despite their loss to US Monastir.

Final Table standing

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