It was a bit of a surprising move when Agustin Bosch joined Al Ahly after leading their domestic rivals Zamalek to the 2021 BAL title, but he is just happy to have become the first coach to win the competition twice in its three years of existence.
“It’s big moment in my career as a head coach,” Bosch said to the bal.nba.com moments after leading Al Ahly to the 2023 BAL title in Kigali.
Al Ahly outclassed AS Douanes 80-65 in front of a sell-out crowd at BK Arena on May 27 to become the second Egyptian team to lift the trophy.
“We came to Kigali with the goal of winning it all, and we got it done,” an elated Bosch added.
Bosch currently holds the best win-loss BAL record (13-1) of any coach with at least five games in the history of the competition.
In his first BAL season, Bosch’s Zamalek finished 6-0, before leading Al Ahly to a 7-1 mark this season.
He could have had a perfect record at the end of the 2023 BAL season, but a buzzer-beater 91-90 loss to Petro de Luanda in the Nile Conference stained his storied record.
In the aftermath of that one-point loss to Petro, Agustin noted: “It hurts to lose a game like this but we could have done things better; we fought hard to come-back and we tried our best; it was just a tip-in in the last tenth of a second that stole the game from us.”
As he celebrated his second BAL title - while Petro crushed out to finish fourth - Agustin described the Petro v Al Ahly game as “one of the best basketball games that we have seen in Africa. If anyone wants to re-watch it, it's worth it… it was a great game. I will watch it again.”
Asked how that loss impacted Al Ahly’s campaign, Bosch replied: “It was a little bit of a turning point for us, but, I don’t think it was so important because finishing first or second in the Conference round it’s not so important.”
“Of course, we wanted to win every game; we fought for it. The we way we lost – with a tenth of a second left -, after an offensive rebound… It could be anyone’s game.”
But Agustin admitted that “the meaning of winning two BAL titles is big… I was fortunate to have been here with Zamalek. Now, I am really happy to be part of Al Ahly. It’s a big club with a huge fanbase… they gave us all conditions to compete in Egypt and in Africa.”
With the BAL title Al Ahly earn the right to represent Africa at the upcoming FIBA InterContinental Cup, and event that Bosch can’t wait to be part of.
“We look forward to the next season,” he said.
“Most of the core of the team – mainly Egyptian players are still in contract - they will be with us.
“We have big challenges as [BAL] defending champions and play in the InterContinental Cup will be big for us. I hope we can repeat this performance level,” he emphasized.
Under Bosch, Al Ahly have completed a treble after winning the 2023 Egypt Super League, National League and the BAL.