Petro de Luanda, Al Ahly book BAL final slots

Petro de Luanda’s Nicholas Faust celebrates the team’s semifinal win over AS Douanes. PHOTO/COURTESY OF BAL

What you need to know:

The two sides needed overtime to get past Rivers Hoopers and Cape Town Tigers. 

The 2024 Basketball Africa League final on Saturday will be a clash between perennial campaigners and newcomers.

Petro de Luanda, who have played all the semifinals of the BAL since its inception, and also appeared in the 2022 final, will go up against debutants Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya.

This is after the two booked their places in the championship games in similar fashion on Weednesday night in Kigali, Rwanda.  

The two sides needed overtime to get past Rivers Hoopers and Cape Town Tigers. 

Petro had a 13-point lead against Cape Town Tigers in the fourth quarter but it was wiped out to see the game end 77-77 after regulation time.

The Angolan champions, however, dominated in overtime and eventually prevailed 96-86 to join Al Ahly Ly in the final.

Nicholas Faust finished with a game-high 23 points to lead Petro de Luanda to their second BAL final in four seasons.

Jone Pedro came off the bench to record a  double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. He added three blocks.

Lukeny Goncalves shot five-for-nine from downtown on the way to 16 points, while Yanick Moreira contributed 11 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out.

In the first semifinal, BAL debutant Al Ahly Ly needed overtime to overcome Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers 89-83 to book their place.

Lual Acuil led the way for the Libyans, contributing 27 points and seven rebounds on the night.

New addition Robert Golden added 20 points while Kevin Murphy, who was returning from an injury, finished with 13 points before fouling out a minute into the fourth quarter.  
Al Ahly Ly have certainly had better days in office and will only be happy with the result and not the performance.

Ivan Jermic’s charges shot two-for-18 and turned the ball over 23 times.

Rivers Hoopers paid the price for their empty trips to the free throw line, their nine-for-20 rythm far from good enough and eventually relegating them to Friday’s bronze game. 

Saturday’s final will see 2022 winner Souleyman Diabate and runner-up Carlos Morais go up against one another one more time.

Diabate helped Tunisia’s US Monastir defeat Petro de Luanda back then and will be playing in his third BAL final.

He won the inaugural BAL title with Egypt’s Zamalek and is currently in search of a third holy grail. 

Basketball Africa League 

Semifinal results 

Rivers Hoopers 83-89 Al Ahly Ly

Petro de Luanda 96-86 Cape Town Tigers