10/31/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/31/2019 13:46
COTONOU (Benin) - Overtime was the order of the day on Day 2 of the ongoing Africa Champions Clubs Qualifiers 2019 Road to Ball in Group B here in Cotonou. First it was was NPA Pythons of Liberia that crawled back into the game from an 11 point deficit in the fourth quarter to snatch a well deserved win in overtime against GRA Customs Braves from Ghana.
Samuel Davidson who started from the bench for the Pythons posted a double double performance with 14 points, 21 rebounds and 2 assists as his side coasted to a deserved win.
John Lewis Bing also scored 13 points, 2 assists and 10 rebounds.
The Liberian side started the game like a house on fire to win the first quarter 20-18 points but their inability to convert their chances cost them the second quarter, 9-19 points as they ended the first half on the back foot 29-37 points.
Braves' good works were undone in the 2nd half as they fluffed their chances to close out the game with NPA pulling off the impossible 13-12, 20-13 points to force an over time with scores tied at 62 points apiece.
With the momentum on the Liberians side, it was easier to assert their dominance to win 74-70 points as they secured their first win.
Reacting after the game, Python's coach Rapheal Quaye said their standing up to their opponents and pushing them hard when they were trailing was pivotal to the team's success.
On whether their opponents gave away the game, Quaye said, 'I don't want to believe that because we all came here to compete and everybody is working on their objectives. No team will easily want to give out a game.'
'It's basically strategy, approach, motivation and how you work together as a team', he concluded.
The game game of the day was as thrilling as the first as Nigelec of Niger Republic got their BAL dreams back on track after recording their first win.
The Nigerien team parading four Nigerians defeated ASPAC of Benin Republic 65-60 (13-14, 9-6, 12-12, 20-12, 11-6) points in over time.
Former Kano Pillars player and club championship veteran, Ademola Dele posted a double double figure with 18 points, 21 rebounds and 4 assists to propel his side to a win.
With 50% conversion rate from the arch, Timothy Kwaor scored 17 points and 2 assists while Eli Abraham scored 16 points, 1 assist and 4 rebounds.
Bernard Lougbenon's 17 points, 2 assists and 7 rebounds were not enough to save ASPAC as they succumbed to their first loss in two games.
Speaking after the win, Nigelec captain, Abdoul Aziz Oumarou attributed his team's victory to a well planned style of play even while behind.
'We kept doing our thing and it worked well for us. We are excited about this win which has placed us in a vantage position to qualify for the Basketball Africa League with two more games to go.'
Despite their loss, ASPAC captain, Tankpinou Ahivohozin warned that other teams should underrate them at their own peril.
'We lost concentration in the third quarter and we paid dearly for it. We are determined to correct our lapses in our next game and move forward.'