Rwanda Energy Basketball Group (REG) Basketball Club became the first team to reach the 2023 Basketball Africa League Playoffs scheduled to hold in Kigali, Rwanda in May.
REG defeated the home team AS Douanes 69-58 in front of a raucous Senegalese fans at the Dakar Arena to make it 3-0 in the Sahara Conference.
Head coach of REG Dean Murray expressed his excitement at making the playoffs of the BAL season three.
”We are happy we have qualified to Kigali that was our goal from the beginning.”
”The first day of practice I spoke to the team that we are not guaranteed a spot in Kigali we have to earn it now we have achieved that so our next goal is to finish as high as we can in the Sahara Conference,” said Murray.
AS Douanes had no answers for the aggressive Rwandan champions for most part of the game.
Jean Jacques Nshobozwabyosenumukiza scored 15 points, Cleveland Thomas Jr contributed 12 while Dieudonne Ndizeye scored three of his five three-point attempts to finish with 13 points.
The Senegalese champions out-rebounded REG 56-48 and shared the ball better 20-15 but REG shot 11/33 from behind the arc which was a huge problem for the home team who finished 4-for-28 from the deep.
An uninterested Terrell Stoglin failed to score a single point for Douanes, went 0-7 from the field and could only manage 3 rebounds and 5 assists in 22 minutes.
Only two players scored in double digits for AS Douanes, Chris Crawford had 15 while Jean Jacques Boissy added 14 points for AS Douanes.
“Our goal was to shut Crawford and Stoglin down and see if other players can beat us. We got up to a good start and put the game away at the end of the first half,” Murray revealed.
While REG booked their spot in the playoffs, AS Douanes dropped to 0-2 as they continue to chase for their first win in the Sahara Conference.
Douanes’ Khaman Maluach admitted that they took positives from the loss. “We still have three games to play. There are things that we need to improve, and I am sure we can do better.”
“We can’t blame Stoglin for the loss. Of course, he is a scorer, but bad nights happen to anyone.”
AS Douanes will be up against Stade Malien on Friday while REG will face Malien the next day.