Stade Malien recorded their first win in the Basketball Africa League following their 78-74 win over Kwara Falcons at the Dakar Arena on Tuesday.

Aliou Diarra scored 23 points and 14 rebounds with 5 blocks to go with it in 28 minutes.

Diarra contributed at both ends of the floor and shot a double-double 18 points, 10 rebounds in the first half as he led Malien to a 5 point lead at the break (36-31).

For a second consecutive game, Kwara Falcons had a difficult third quarter and were outscored 18-28.

Malien were aggressive in the paint 50-20 points scored and got more second chance points 20-13.

Falcons shot 19/30 from the free throw line, were outrebounded 44-49 and gave the ball away 22 times one more than they did in the last game.

”We are still a work in progress it (turnovers) is one of the areas we have to work on and I feel the guys will do better,” said Baba Jubril, Kwara Falcons head coach.

With 5:41 left to play, Souleymae Berthe dropped a three-pointer to stretch the lead to 20 (74-54).

Berthe continued from there on in place of Diarra who sat out the last five minutes of the game after he got his fifth foul of the game.

“I am not happy with the foul Diarra took at the end of the game he is generally a fun guy with lots of ambitions and he is a kid with a bright future but he has to take care of small things that might hinder his game .Overrall I am satisfied with his performance,” said Malien coach Kaba Kante.

Souleymane Berthe shot 20 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists while Reuben Chinyelu Abuchi had 10 points and 7 rebounds.

The Malians who led for most part of the game almost gave up their lead to a resilient Falcons in the fourth quarter.

Falcons left it late to turn the game around following a 20-4 run in the remaining 5 minutes of the game.

Anthony Wilson Jr (19), Jawad Adekoya (12), Madou Fall Thiam (11),Victor Ezeh (10) all contributed for Kwara Falcons.

Ezeh who had a slow start to the game admitted he is yet to play his best in the Sahara Conference of the Basketball Africa League.

”I have not played my best in this tournament. It is a normal thing for players to face this and challenge themselves to do better. I know I can still challenge myself to do better to help the team get a win.”

Two defeats and three left to play, with the next game coming against the reigning champions US Monastir, Jubril remains confident of making the playoffs.

”It is still possible we cant rule it out. We are playing the defending champions on paper some people might think it is over.

“If they can give the same energy they gave towards the fourth quarter I think they can make it happen.

Adonis Filer led REG to their second consecutive victory

Adonis Filer’s brilliant performance galvanized Rwanda Energy Group (REG) to an 80-73 win over Abidjan Basket Club (ABC) on Tuesday.

Filer shot 8-17 from the field, 5-of-9 from the deep and 80% from the free throw line.

REG who trailed by 7 at half time, found their way back in it as Filer dropped two 3-pointers in the third quarter to lead the Rwandan champions to a 16-0 run (57-52).

The Ivorians had regained the lead in the last 14 seconds of the third (62-59) but Filer had his own plans, he showed up again with 4 points to lead REG by 1 point going to the fourth.

”I give ABC credit for a great game they really played well. We just made some plays at the end of the game and in the end they really got tired because we were running the floor really well and put pressure on them,” REG coach Dean Murray admitted.

Stephane Konate scored 5/10 three-pointers to a team high 16 points while Abdoulaye Harouna had 12.

In an attempt to get back their rhythm in the fourth, REG’s offense thwarted every effort made by the Ivorians who were also let down by some turn overs made late in the game.

“At the end of the day our inexperience level showed. REG came up very well in the second half,” admitted ABC head coach Liz Mills

“We let them bait us, we felt confident going into that game we believe we are a team that can compete with any team here. We are disappointed with our effort our lack of execution and REG took advantage of that and they did a good job to do so,”said Mills.

Kwara Falcons face US Monsatir at 4pm local time, while REG will be upagainst the home side AS Douanes on Wednesday.