Smouha of Egypt earned their debut win on the continent defeating ASB Mazembe 78-65 in the opening Group D game of the FIBA Africa Basketball League at the Palaise de Sports Mahamasina in Antananarivo, Madagascar on Friday.
Smouha’s two new recruits Nigeria’s D’Tigers Augustine Okosun and Adamu Saaka both put up outstanding performances for the Egyptians as the duo and James Justice all finished with a double-double each in the game.
Okosun had 19 points and 12 rebounds converting 50% of his FG in 24 minutes, Saaka added 16 points and 14 rebounds while Justice had 18 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.
The Egyptians led by 10 points at the end of the first half 40-30 which was later cut down to two points 58-56 after Mazembe outscored Smouha 26-18 in the third quarter. They could not consolidate on their third quarter performance going down 9-20 and eventually losing the game.
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Three of the four Mazembe players who finished on double figures had a double-double in the game. Gege Kizubanata had a game high 20 points and 12 rebounds, Rodrigue Tambwe scored 18 points and 14 rebounds while Alex N’Sasse added 12 points and 14 rebounds. N’Sasse scored 5 of 8 from the line. From the bench, Jericho Samuna scored 11 points in 19 minutes for the Congolese.
In the second game played between the host Club OmniSports Police Nationale (COSPN) and Petro de Luanda, the Angolans recorded their first win the inaugural edition of the FIBA ABL.
2015 champions, Petro Luanda, outclassed COSPN 99-76 in front of their home crowd in Madagascar.
The Angolans had five players on double digits with Olimpio Cipriano leading the way with 18 points and 4 of 9 from behind the arc. Aldemiro Joai got of the bench to score 12 points and 8 rebounds, Jose Antonio had 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Childe Dundao added 10 points while Benvido Adolfo contributed 16 points and five rebounds from the bench.
For COSPN, Claudio Rajaonarivony had 16 points, Livio Ratianavivo had 15 points and eight rebounds while Ricky-ley Loubacky scored 13 points.
The host gave a good fight for most part of the game and had 8 points separating them at the end of the third quarter 64-56 but collapsed in the fourth quarter 20-35 suffering 20 turn overs in the game and eventually losing scandalously to Petro Luanda.
Petro Luanda will next face ASB Mazembe while COSPN will take on Smouha on Saturday.