Al Ahly waited for the third quarter to inflict a final blow to beat AS Douanes 80-65 to win the 2023 BAL title.
After a low scoring first half that saw Al Ahly heading to the locker room with slim 38-33 lead, Corey Webster and Ehab Amin converted two three-points for a 57-44 lead in the third quarter, and AS Douanes couldn’t respond.
AS Douanes opened the score with a three-point from Chris Crawford, but their only lead of the game only lasted 23 seconds.
But the story of this game can’t be told without a masterminded game-plan that saw Crawford finish with 9 points and foul out when AS Douanes needed him most later in the fourth quarter.
“We had to attack him,” said Al Ahly Ehab Amin, who had a rough first half, but managed to score his 9 points in the third quarter.
“He plays 30 plus minutes per game.. he scores over 20 points…He is one, if not, the best player in tournament. We knew the key was to stop and attack him,” Amin said.
Nuni Omot led the way for Al Ahly, finishing with a game-high of 22 points and Corey Webster added 13 points off the bench.
As Omot was named the 2023 Hakeem Olajuwon BAL MVP award, Al Ahly became the second Egyptian to win the tournament since Zamalek won the inaugural BAL season.
“We just need to keep our heads high,” said Adama Diakhite contributed 14 points off the bench for AS Douanes.
“It’s always tough to lose a Final, but it’s part of the business. We made a few mistakes. We didn’t have a good shooting percentage from the three-point line, and they took advantage of the situation,” Diakhite added.
Both Michael Fakuade and coach Agustin Bosch have become two-time BAL champions after helping Zamalek to the 2021 BAL title.
Al Ahly concluded their 2023 BAL campaign with an overall record of 7-1.
And with the win Al Ahly earned the right to represent Africa at the next edition of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup.