BAL2023: We can’t go home without the Title, Said Samba Fall

AS Douanes are on a four-game winning streak and they show no signs of slowing down.

After closing their Sahara Conference with three straight wins, AS Douanes reached the BAL Semi-Finals after beating Ferroviario da Beira 93-73 on Sunday at BK Arena in Kigali.

They are now ensured a place for the remaining of the BAL Finals, unlike the Quarter-Finals losing teams who go home empty-handed.

Where did AS Douanes get so much confidence from to remain in contention for a place in the Championship Game is something they attribute to new mentality.

They don’t feel inferior to any other team in the 2023 BAL season, and demand some respect.

AS Douanes advanced to the Semi-Finals, and will take on the winner of the game between Abidjan Basket Club (ABC) and Petro de Luanda.

“We are not a small team… Either of these two teams (ABC or Petro) must respect us,” said AS Douanes guard Samba Fall.

Fall mirrored AS Douanes’ current position in the Playoffs. Just like his team, Fall looks confident, highly-motivated and they are aiming big in the competition.

“We can’t go home without the BAL title,” Fall said.

On Sunday, he had more points than his previous 19 points in five games.

Fall finished with a game-high of 23 points after making 9 of his 13 shooting attempts, a shooting haulage that included a 4-for-5 from behind the arc.

“Beating Beira was important for us. It was a win-or-go-home situation,” Fall noted, adding: “We had to bring our energy, and, thankfully, things worked out for us.”

Asked how his scoring improved from 19 points in five game to 23 in a do-or-die clash against Beira, he replied: “[During the Sahara Conference] I was tasked to focus on defense. Here in the Playoffs, I am just glad that my teammates keep feeding the ball and find me in the right situation to score.”

How much transformation have AS Douanes been through since Sahara Conference in March?

“We are aggressive defensively, that has been one of our strongest points right now.”

With the win over Beira, AS Douanes became the first Senegalese side to reach the BAL Semi-Finals.

Fall said: “It doesn’t matter who we are playing in the Semi-Finals.”

“ABC beat us in the Sahara Conference, but we are in a new situation.”

Chris Crawford, who has been crucial for AS Douanes throughout the season, reflected on Sunday’s win over Beira, noting that “We executed our game today. The guys were ready and the coaching staff did a good job in preparing us.”

“I am not surprised the numbers by these guys. I see them every day.

[Samba Fall] That’s my young boy. I know how confident he is,” Crawford said.

AS Douanes resume their Playoffs campaign on Wednesday.




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