RADES (FIBA Africa Champions Cup 2017) – Day 1 of the FIBA Africa Champions Cup (ACC) saw on Monday, in the Tunisian town of Rades, all top contenders living up to their credentials.
All four North African teams – Etoile Sportive de Rades (Tunisia), Association Sportive Sale (Morocco), Union Sportive Monastirienne (Tunisia) and Groupment Sportive des Petroliers (Algeria) – registered wins.
Although Abdul Yahaya and Abubakar Usman combined 43 points for Nigeria champions Kano Pillars, Group A’s opening game of the day belonged to the Maghrebian side AS Sale who recorded an impressive mark of 30 assists against Pillars’ eight to win 112-83.
Making their first ACC appearance since 2005, Angola’s InterClube de Luanda dispatched the Democratic Republic of Congo’s champions New Generation with a 89-67 success.
InterClube’s Egidio Ventura made 9 of his 17 field goal attempts to finish with a team-high 23 points while Emmanuel Isungu’s game-high 27 points weren’t good enough to avoid the Congolese’s defeat.
In Group A’s final game of the day, hosts Etoile Sportive de Rades outscored City Oilers 102-64.
Although the “Oilers” head coach Mandi Juruny has once expressed his team’s intentions of winning this year’s ACC, the reality on the basketball court was totally different.
The Eastern African didn’t look a title contender, and trailed by as many as 40 points.
In Group B’s first game, GS Petroliers’ 22 assists against Ferroviario da Beira’s seven marked the difference between the two sides.
The Algerian champions never trailed, led by 28, and closed the one-sided encounter with a 104-89 triumph.
Ferroviario da Beira’s Elves Houana converted 6 of his 10 three-point attempts to finish with a game-high 24 points while Algerian internationals Mohamed Harat and Mounir Benzagala combined for 34 GS Petroliers points.
Former ACC champion Libolo led by 28, and never trailed to defeat AS Mazembe 90-65.
In the final game of the day Union Sportive Monastirienne destroyed Gombe Bulls of Nigeria 90-62.