Egypt’s basketball league leaders Al Ahly are now continental champions after claiming the Basketball Africa League (BAL) title on 27 May, defeating Senegalese AS Douanes 80-65 in Rwanda.
Al-Ahly dominated the group stages of the competition, losing only once in all five matches by a one-point deficit.
The Red Devils continued their dominating run into the knockout stages – defeating hosts Energy Group with a resounding score of 94-77 in the quarter-final, while a nail-biting semifinal matchup against Stade Malien of Mali resulted in a score of 78-73.
The final with AS Douanes was equally contested up until the third quarter of the game when Al Ahly turned on the gears and created a 13-point gap that confidently carried them to victory into the fourth quarter.
South Sudanese Nuni Omot led the final for Al Ahly with a game-high of 22 points, eventually claiming the tournament’s most valuable player award.
The club’s footballing half extended their congratulations to the team for bringing home the trophy, with Al Ahly FC president Mahmoud Al-Khatib praising their focus and perseverance “inside and outside of the basketball court.”
The triumph in Rwanda cements Al Ahly’s position as the second Egyptian team to claim the BAL title since its inaugural season when domestic rivals Zamalek clinched the competition’s first-ever trophy in 2021.
The BAL emerged as a joint initiative founded in 2019 by the United State’s National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to expand the NBA’s reach beyond American borders.
It is considered the continent’s top-tier tournament, with the eventual winner being eligible to participate in the FIBA Intercontinental Cup – a world cup for clubs.
With Al Ahly as this year’s winner, they will be flying to Singapore in September 2023 in an attempt to take over the world stage.