Basketball Africa League playoffs: quarterfinals action tips off

Petro de Luanda and F.A.P pick up wins on day 1 of BAL quarterfinals.

Association Sportive de Salé stepped on the floor on Saturday knowing that the only way to beat Petro de Luanda was to protect the perimeter line, but that didn’t happen.

The Angolan champions finished 19-for-36 from behind the 3-point line to become the first team to advance to the 2022 Basketball Africa League (BAL) semifinals.

Petro de Luanda attempted more 3-pointers than 2-pointers (16-for-31), which shows how permissive the Rabat-based team’s defense was.

It was Petro’s third straight victory over AS Salé in the BAL after beating the Moroccan champions twice last year during the BAL’s inaugural season in Kigali.

Petro’s Carlos Morais, who opened the score with a 3-pointer, shot 8-for-16 from the field, including five makes from beyond the arc to finish with a game-high 27 points.

Lukeny Gonçalves, who was recently named MVP of the Angolan League playoffs, contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds for his first BAL double-double.

Petro de Luanda improved to 5-1 while AS Salé closed their 2022 BAL campaign with a 3-3 mark.

A three-point loss (73-70) against the Cape Town Tigers last month in the Nile Conference was Forces Armeés et Police’s most painful defeat in 2022 Basketball Africa League (BAL). But Saturday’s three-point win against Rwanda Energy Group was their sweetest victory in the BAL so far.

With the win, FAP became the second team to advance to the 2022 BAL semifinals, where they will take on Petro de Luanda of Angola.

REG had a short-lived two-point advantage early in the game, but as much as they tried, the Rwandan champions never regained the lead again.

Cleveland Thomas Jr was a one-man show for most of the contest for REG. By the end of the opening quarter, Thomas had 12 of REG’s 17 points as they trailed by six. Thomas led his team with 23 points, and Dieudonne Ndizeye, the only other REG player to score in double digits, finished with 11 points.

Meanwhile, Deshaun Morman sparked FAP’s offence with 14 points and three assists. Joel Almeida and Tyjhai Byers contributed 10 points apiece, and the Cameroonian champions, supported by a small but loud group of fans, remain in contention for the BAL title.

REG concluded their BAL campaign with a 4-2 mark while FAP improved to 3-3.

Source: https://www.nba.com/news/basketball-africa-league-playoffs-quarterfinals-action-tips-off