BAL PLAYOFFS

Tunisia’s US Monastir and Egypt's Zamalek advance to semifinals

The semifinals of the 2022 Basketball Africa League Playoffs

Action continues in the BAL Playoffs this weekend

The 2022 Basketball Africa League Playoffs continued on Sunday, May 22 with a quarterfinal matchup between Tunisia’s US Monastir, which advanced to playoffs after going 4-1 during the Sahara Conference group phase, against South Africa’s Cape Town Tigers, which is making its BAL Playoffs debut after advancing to the playoffs with a 2-3 record in the Nile Conference group phase.

The game started with each team trading three pointers as U.S. Monastir captain Radhouane Slimane hit the opening shot followed by a three-point answer from former NBA player and Cape Town newcomer Cleanthony Early.

Preston’s proficient scoring, which resulted in 12 first half points on 5/8 shooting, kept the Tigers within striking distance but the all-around play of Ghayaza, who recorded 10 points, seven boards and an assist, helped Monastir maintain a comfortable lead throughout the second quarter entering halftime up 44-33.

Dixon’s hot hand carried into the fourth quarter and Monastir didn’t look back as they held the Tigers scoreless for the first four minutes of the quarter, extending their lead to 23 en route to a 106-67 victory. Monastir had five players score in double figures led by Dixon who scored a game-high 23 points.

Slimane turned in 16 points, six rebounds and five assists, Diabate recorded 13 points and five assists, Ghayaza chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds, and Lahyani recorded 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Preston (17 points; four rebounds), Early (15 points) and Prinsloo (14 points; eight rebounds) led the way for Cape Town.

Monastir advances to the BAL Playoff Semifinals on May 25.

The final quarterfinal game of the 2022 BAL Playoffs featured defending BAL Champion Zamalek, which enters the game on an 11-game winning streak in the BAL after winning all five of its games during the Nile Conference group phase, against Guinea’s S.L.A.C, which went 2-3 during the Sahara Conference group phase.

The strong defense on both sides continued as just four total points were scored in the first four minutes of the second quarter, but two consecutive scores by SLAC brought them within two points of the defending BAL defending champion halfway through the second quarter.

Zamalek responded with 14-0 run, including nine points by former NBA player DJ Strawberry Jr. to extend its lead to 30-15. SLAC scored six straight points before Zamalek’s Strawberry hit a running three pointer at the buzzer to go into halftime up 33-21.

Zamalek maintained its double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter en route to a 66-49 victory.

Moustafa Elmekawi turned in a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double, while Edgar Sosa and DJ Strawberry contributed 13 points and 12 points, respectively. Oumar Barry (13 points; 12 rebounds), Dane Anthony Miller (11 points; 14 rebounds; four assists) and Mohamed Keita (12 points; eight rebounds) led the way for SLAC.

Zamalek with face-off with US Monastir in the BAL semifinals on May 25.

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