10/23/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/23/2019 14:34
JOHANNESBURG (South Africa) - Ferroviario de Maputo and UNZA Pacers have continued their winning run on Wednesday in Group E at the ongoing Basketball Africa League Qualifying Tournament at Wembley Indoor Sports Complex.
Ferroviario cruised to a landslide victory over Lions from Namibia 102-60 in style and absolute dominance to send an early warning about their intentions down south. They are now top of the group with two games done so far.
Alvaro Calvo Masa registered the game's only double double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and two assists to inspire his side to victory as Luis de Barros added 18 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Masa was unstoppable in the paint today
Milagre Macome's side led 19-12 at the end of the first quarter before improving their defense to limit their opponents to just nine points in the second period to lead 47-21 at the half time break.
The Lions turned up the heat in the second half especially the last quarter scoring 24 points but Ferroviario were too strong for the Namibian side and walked away with a well-deserved win.
David Canivete Jr scored 15 points while Pio Matos and Milton Caifaz came from the bench to add 14 and 10 points in that order.
Michael Popisi Mukumbutaa and Mabeth Kazeurua each netted 13 points for the Lions but their efforts fell short of helping their team to victory as they registered a 2-0 losing streak.
Meanwhile, the University of Zambia Pacers reminded everyone that they are in Johannesburg and mean business when they edged the Mercenaries from Zimbabwe 80-74 in a closely contested game that left everyone in the crowd at the edge of their seats.
A thrilling game that brought out the best from both sides made for interesting viewing in the face of a competition that is seeking to sieve the best of the best from across the continent to align them in a professional league that will change the face of African basketball for good.
The Mercenaries were in charge from the onset leading 21-15 at the end of the first period and enjoyed a good run on offense while playing decent defense to lead 42-31 at the half time break.
The rhythm of the game changed in the third quarter with the Pacers picking up momentum while being more effective and running down the clock with purpose.
The Pacers went for size and their activity in the paint made it count eventually as they caught up with the Mercenaries to tie the game 65 up and force overtime.
Cuthbert Tembo's side registered 39 points off the bench while the Mercenaries had their bench players contributing just 19 points from the non-starters.
The Mercenaries did everything within their powers to win this game registering 16 steals, 31 points off fast breaks and 26 points from turnovers but they were hard undone by their inefficiency behind the arc making just four of their 25 attempts. They also missed 18 times on the charity line and lost the game by six points.
Harrison Banda scored 13 points and was one rebound away from a double double while his teammate Francis Chelebela added the same number of points. Titus Hampongo Mapani and Paul Kashishi added 12 and 11 points in that order to guide the Pacers into the conversation brackets of teams to progress to the Second Round.
Simukwela Lubinda was very impressive for the Pacers
Paul Tatenda Maturure will sleep a contented man that with 30 points and five rebounds, he did everything in his powers to ensure victory for Mercenaries but they fell short of their target ultimately.
In the last game of the day, hosts Jozi Nuggets picked their first win of the competition after defeating Dolphins from Botswana 68-60 to improve their win ratio to 1-1 on a night when captain Neo Mothiba has been left smiling ear-to-ear.
Mothiba scored 18 points and picked 13 rebounds to make a case for his side as the fans walked away with their fists in midair to announce their intentions. The Nuggets know that they must win all their remaining games for a chance in the Second Round.
The top two sides in Group E will qualify automatically to the next round of the Basketball Africa League 2020 Qualifying Tournaments.