Patriots Basketball Club, representative of Basketball Africa League (BAL) host nation Rwanda, has secured a huge win in the opening game of the continental championship.
The home team beat Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers 83-60 in the first game of the NBA-FIBA Africa competition taking place at the Kigali Arena.
12 teams representing 12 nations on the continent have qualified to compete in the tournament that is being held in a bubble with no fans due to COVID 19 related health protocols.
Rivers had a good start thanks to an 18-17 first quarter lead but lost its way in the second quarter with Patriots going on a 19-0 run to turn the game around.
Prince Ibeh was a major catalyst for the turnaround contributing 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots while teammate Brandon Costner led all players with 20 points in the contest.
Taren Sullivan scored 15 points for Rivers Hoopers with Guard Ben Uzoh scoring the BAL’s first basket. American Rapper J Cole (Jermaine Cole) made his professional debut as a player on Patriots roster and contributed three points, three rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes.
He scored after grabbing the rebound on a missed layup attempt late in the first quarter. (Click highlighted text to watch video)
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter