US Monastir defeats Cape Town 106-67
US Monastir landed in Kigali looking to move on from their disappointing 2021 Basketball Africa League (BAL) campaign.
Last year the Monastir-based team left the Rwandan capital with the hope of returning better and stronger to win the BAL title that slipped out of their hands after a 76-63 defeat to Zamalek in the Final.
With a BAL quarterfinal meeting against BAL debutant Cape Town on Sunday, the last thing the Tunisian champions want this time around is to return home empty-handed again.
Theoretically, Monastir are favorites, but history has shown that there are no easy games in the BAL playoffs.
There are striking differences between the two teams who have never faced each other. While the Tigers were founded in 2019 and are making their continental debut, Monastir was founded in 1959, making it one of the oldest basketball clubs on the continent.
Despite their storied past, the best result Monastir achieved in Africa was a third place at the 2017 FIBA Africa Champions Cup. If Monastir win the 2022 BAL title, they will complete a treble after winning the 2022 Tunisian League and the National Cup.
Unlike US Monastir, who secured automatic qualification to the BAL regular season, the Tigers clinched their ticket through one of the FIBA-run Road to the BAL qualifiers, which they hosted in Johannesburg in October and December 2021.
Last month, Cape Town won two of their five Nile Conference games to finish third. US Monastir made it to Kigali on the back of a 4-1 mark, and after finishing second in the Sahara Conference.
Zamalek vs. SLAC, 12 pm ET
Seydou Legacy Athétique Club (SLAC) will try to become the first team to stop Zamalek’s Basketball Africa League (BAL) unbeaten run on Sunday in the last of four 2022 BAL quarterfinals.
For SLAC, this a tall task, considering how solid the BAL defending champions have been. Zamalek currently enjoy a 11-0 record dating back to last year’s BAL. It’s the only team that has never tasted defeat in the history of the competition so far.
The reigning BAL champions, who qualified automatically to this season, cruised to a 5-0 record in the Nile Conference last month in Cairo. Zamalek remain the only undefeated team in the 2022 BAL season.
SLAC qualified to the BAL through one of the FIBA-run Road to BAL qualifiers late last year. They won two out of five games at the Sahara Conference in March in Dakar.
Unlike Zamalek, who topped the Nile Conference, SLAC finished fourth to clinch the last Sahara Conference spot for the BAL playoffs.
With an average of 88 ppg, Zamalek ranks second in points scored per game after AS Salé (90), while the Guinean champions pour in 78 points per contest.
Rebounds and shooting efficiency are where Zamalek and SLAC look similar. They each tally 40 boards per game, and Zamalek registers a field goal percentage of 46 compared to SLAC’s 44.