BAL2024: AS Douanes seal playoffs ticket in front of a rowdy home crowd after trashing APR BBC

The Senegal’s AS Douanes clinched the last ticket for the 2024 BAL Playoffs thanks to a comprehensive 79-54 win over Rwanda’s APR on Sunday at Dakar Arena.

This was a do-or-die clash for both teams, but the 2024 Sahara Conference hosts pulled off a dominant performance to advance to the next round for the season in a row.

Home fans turned out in large numbers again to cheer on the 2023 BAL runners-up who trailed by four (11-7) early in the opening quarter.

But when coach Mamadou Gueye readjusted his team’s offensive game plan midway through the first quarter, ‘Le Gabelous’ embarked on a scoring spree to close the first half with a comfortable 44-28 halftime lead.

Mike Fofana came up with another stellar performance leading the Senegalese champions with a game-high of 27 points; Abdoulaye Harouna scored 12 of his 17 points from behind the arc and Madut Akec was a rebound shy off a double-double, contributing 14 points and 9 rebounds.

Axel Mpoyo and Ntore Habimana, the only two APR to score in double digits, finished with 22 and 12 points, respectively.

With the win, AS Dounes closed their Sahara Conference with a 3-3 record.

APR, on the other hand, became the first Rwandan side to be eliminated in the group stages.

“Not moving on is a real disappointment,” APR head coach Mazen Trackh admitted.

Reflecting on his team’s end of the season, Trackh acknowledged that AS Douanes came up ready. He said: “They knew what our weakness were. They pressured us from the very first second of the game to the last of the game.”

The Rwandan champions turned the ball over 19 times, 7 more than the 2023 BAL runners-up, it was their poor ball movement (12 assists) that hurt them the most.

With the win, AS Douanes secured the last playoffs ticket, joining Al Ahly SC (Egypt), Al Ahly Ly (Libya), FUS Rabat (Morocco), Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria), Petro de Luanda (Angola), Cape Town Tigers (South Africa) and US Monatir (Tunisia).

The 2024 BAL Playoffs will run from May 24 to June 1 at BK Arena in the Rwandan capital.




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