Al Ahly of Egypt have qualified for the Elite 8 of the FIBA Africa Basketball League after leaving it late to beat Rwanda Energy Group Basketball Club 78-76 on Sunday at the Prince Abdallah Al Faisal Sports Hall, Cairo, Egypt.
Reginald Holmes led two other Al Ahly players in double figures. Holmes had 25 points, five rebounds and three steals while shooting 7/15 from the deep. Ramy Gunady got off the bench to score 14 points and four asst and four 3-pointers in 28 minutes while Todd O brien had a double-double 10 points and 14 rebounds.
For the second consecutive game in two days the host left it late to snatch the victory. They were on the verge of losing against REG with 1:06 minutes remaining and 1 point deficit (76-75), but unsportsmanlike foul awarded to REG with 15 seconds left ensured Al Ahly converted their 3 of their 4 free throws to become the second team in Group C to qualify for the knock out stage.
Kenny Gasana had a game high 29 points, six rebounds, 9 of 10 from the line and shot 4/8 of his 3-pointers for REG while Kami Kabange added 18 points, six rebounds and three steals and Jean Jacgues added 10 points.
Earlier, 8-time champions Primeiro De Agosto made it 3-0 record in the group stage following their blow out win over Ferroviario Beira. They beat Beira 87-55 to seal their qualification to the elite 8 of the maiden edition of the FIBA Africa Basketball League.
Agosto coach Paulo Macedo made good use of his bench players and in return they did not disappoint. Four players who started from the bench scored in double figures for Agosto. Pedro Bastos had 19 points, six rebounds, four asst, and four steals in 33 minutes, Islando Manuel had 18 points, five rebounds and three asst, Manny Quezada added 15 points and five asst and Carlos Casbral contributed 11 points, five rebounds, four assts and eight steals.
Beira who suffered 32 turn overs had two players on double figures, Ayad Munguambe 15 points and Robinson Opong on 11 rebounds and 5 points.
Agosto finished top of Group C with 6 points, Al Ahly second with 5 points, REG 4 points and Beira finished on 3 points.
Consequently, Primeiro de Agosto and Al Ahly of Egypt are through to the Elite 8 from Group C while Rwanda Energy Group Basketball Club and Ferroviario de Beira are out of the tournament.
Group D games will come up next from February 15-17 in Madagascar having host COSPN, Egypt’s Smouha, Petro Luanda of Angola and BC Mazembe of DR Congo.