Egypt’s El Ahly on Friday won their very first African Champions Cup on home soil in Cairo. According to FIBA report, the El Ahly Arena in Cairo erupted in cheers as the FIBA Africa Champions Cup 2016 hosts became the first Egyptian team to win the competition in two decades.
Paced by Markeith Cummings and Wayne Arnold – the only El Ahly players to score in double figures -, the historic Egyptian club beat Recreativo do Libolo 68-66, becoming the first local basketball club to win the trophy since Al Gezira won it in 1996.
This is El Ahly first-ever FIBA Africa Champions Cup title.
Although the Egyptians led most of the contest, Libolo never backed down, managing a two-point lead midway through the final quarter.
Cummings and Arnold combined for 39 of El Ahly’s 68 points, 38-year-old Tarek El-Sayed added seven points and a game-high 11 rebounds in the winning cause, while Olimpio Cipriano, Andre Harris, Valdelicio Joaquim and Eduardo Mingas combined for 49 Libolo points.
In the process, Arnold, who was named the tournament MVP, was joined on the All-Star team by El-Sayed, Libolo’s duo of Jekel Foster and Valdelicio Joaquim and Abdelhakim Zouita of AS Sale.
The Egyptians won all of their seven matches.
In the 3rd-Place Game, AS Sale of Morocco led by as many 21 points before sealing an 88-76 win over Nigeria champions Kano Pillars. The Nigerians were very hopeful of a third place finish.
Brandon Freeman, who had very little playing time due to a reportedly health issue, in the Thursday’s semi-finals, ignited AS Sale with a game-best 30 points as they became the second Moroccan team – after AS FAR – to win the bronze medal in one year.
Earlier in the day, Tunisia champions Club Africain beat GS Petroliers of Algeria 66-59 in the 5th-Place Game, while eight-time FIBA ACC winners Primeiro D’Agosto closed their worst-ever campaign in the tournament history losing to 72-55 BEAC Basket of Cameroon in the battle for the 7th-Place.
1. El Ahly (Egypt)
2. Recreativo do Libolo (Angola)
3. AS Sale (Morocco)
4. Kano Pillars (Nigeria)
5. Club Africain (Tunisia)
6. GS Petroliers (Algeria)
7. BEAC Basket (Cameroon)
8. Primeiro D’Agosto (Angola)
9. City Oilers (Uganda)
10. Nzui-Manto (Cameroon)