Skip to Main Content

May 29, 2024

Al Ahly Ly are one win away from the 2024 BAL title

BAL debutant Al Ahly Ly are one win away from winning their first continental trophy.
The Libyan champions overcame Rivers Hoopers 89-83 in overtime in Wednesday’s  first Semifinal at BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda.
Hoopers, meanwhile, will have a chance to take a medal home in Friday’s Third-Place Game against the losing team of the second Semi-Final between Cape Town Tigers and Petro de Luanda.
Who would have thought that a team that only secured their BAL ticket on the last day of the Road to BAL Qualifiers last November would be a game away from clinching the 2024 BAL title?
Few saw it coming, but the Al Ahly Ly players and management never doubted their capabilities of reaching the BAL final.
Majok Deng, Jo-Lual Acuil Jr, Kevin Murphy and Robert Golden joined Al Ahly as part of the team’s rebuilding since the Road to BAL ended and the results speak for themselves.
“Many people have no idea how much our country has been investing in basketball,” said small forward Adrees Zew.
“We always thought that it was possible to come this far in the BAL.”
“It hasn’t been an easy ride because we have played tough teams to be in the position we are now,” Zew added.
The fourth game to be decided in overtime this season saw Acuil Jr lead the way, finishing with 27 points and 7 rebounds while Robert Golden came up strong again, contributing 20 points.
Kevin Murphy, who returned from an injury, scored the first two points of the game from the free-throw line to finish with 13 points before fouling out a minute into the fourth quarter.  
Al Ahly Ly shot poorly from behind the arc, making only 2 of their 18 attempts, and turned the ball over 23 times (7 more than Rivers Hoopers), but the Nigerian champions paid the price for finishing 9-for-20 from the free-throw line.
Despite a slow start to the season during the 2024 Nile Conference, where they finished 3-3, Ivan Jermic’s team reached the Final with a spotless 3-0 mark in the postseason.
In fact, Al Ahly Ly led by 16 in the second quarter, but found themselves trailing for most of the fourth quarter.
Devine Eke came up with 25 points and 12 rebounds; Kelvin Amayo added 26 points and 15 rebounds for the Port Harcourt-based team, who dropped to an overall mark of 5-4.
“There were a lot of turnovers and our shots weren’t falling, that’s the main reason we lost the game,” admitted teenager David Eke, who contributed 10 points and 7 rebounds.
The Elevate Program player said that Al Ahly Ly “executed pick-and-rolls very well, and we struggled to defend it, it gave them many shot opportunities.”