BAL: AS Monastir’s Comeback Victory Over Petro de Luanda

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Lahyani’s buzzer-beater secures 70-67 win.
US Monastir turns season around to 4-3.
Key factors: patience, tenacity, determination, self-belief.
Petro de Luanda falters despite strong lead.

A Season-Defining Win

US Monastir’s thrilling 70-67 victory over Petro de Luanda, marked by Firas Lahyani’s stunning three-point buzzer-beater, symbolizes the team’s remarkable turnaround this season. After beginning with a three-game losing streak, the 2022 Basketball Africa League (BAL) champions now boast a 4-3 record, underscoring their resilience and determination.

The Key to Revival: Patience and Determination

The journey from a 0-3 start to their current standing is a testament to US Monastir’s patience, tenacity, self-belief, and unwavering determination. These qualities were on full display in their recent game, demonstrating that a basketball match is never truly over until the final buzzer sounds.

A Dramatic Finish

Petro de Luanda seemed poised for victory, holding a 65-57 lead with just five minutes remaining. However, US Monastir’s 10-0 run dramatically shifted the game’s momentum. The game appeared headed for overtime until Lahyani’s heroic last-second shot clinched the win.

Statistics and Standout Performances

In a game marked by tight defense and crucial mistakes, both teams struggled from the three-point line, each shooting 7-for-27. Despite this, Petro de Luanda’s defense inexplicably left Lahyani open in the final moments, allowing him to seize the opportunity.

Lahyani’s performance was stellar, scoring 12 of his game-high 19 points from behind the arc and nearly achieving a double-double, missing by just one rebound. His teammates, George Williams and Ater Majok, also contributed significantly with 12 and 17 points, respectively.

On the Petro de Luanda side, Nicholas Faust emerged as the leading scorer with 12 points off the bench, while Childe Dundao, also coming off the bench, added 11 points.

Reflections from the Players

Oussama Marnaoui, US Monastir’s guard, highlighted the team’s need for a confident start, reflecting on their second victory over Petro de Luanda since their 2022 BAL title. “Starting with confidence was our main focus,” Marnaoui stated, noting the team’s improved cohesion since their shaky start. “We had some initial misunderstandings, but we’ve figured things out and our potential is shining through now.”

From Petro de Luanda’s perspective, Nicholas Faust acknowledged the team’s mistakes and praised US Monastir’s execution. “We went back and forth. The last play was a defensive slip. Great job to Monastir for executing down the stretch,” Faust said. He emphasized that missed open shots and defensive breakdowns contributed to their loss. “We missed a couple of open shots that would have put us in a better position,” he added.

Looking Forward

With this victory, US Monastir improved their season record to 4-3, while Petro de Luanda fell to 2-3. The game serves as a crucial learning experience for Petro de Luanda, reinforcing the importance of maintaining focus and defensive discipline throughout the entire match.

A Turning Point
US Monastir’s revival this season, highlighted by their dramatic win over Petro de Luanda, illustrates the power of perseverance and teamwork.

Key Performance during the match

Firas Lahyani (US Monastir): 19 points, 9 rebounds, 12 points from three-pointers.
George Williams (US Monastir): Scored 12 points.
Ater Majok (US Monastir): Contributed 17 points.
Nicholas Faust (Petro de Luanda): Led with 12 points off the bench.
Childe Dundao (Petro de Luanda): Added 11 points

Courtesy photo

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