Rwanda Energy Group won their opening game 64-48 against Nigeria’s Kwara Falcons in the Basketball Africa League (BAL).
REG got the job done thanks to Delwan Graham and Cleveland Thomas, who scored 16 and 14 respectively.
Graham told the media after the game: “We didn’t really have too much video to prepare for this team, so we just came out and did what we did best what we’ve been working on the last few weeks or so. We came out there as a team and gave it all.”
The Basketball Africa League’s Sahara Conference also saw no upsets in the other game, as defending champions US Monastir made light work of newcomers Stade Malien.
Monastir effortlessly dispatched the team from Mali 78-68. Jerome Randle’s 18 points were a team-high. The game-high, though, belonged to Souleymane Berthe, who scored 34 of his team’s points.
Morocco international and Illinois State alum John Wilkins acknowledged that taking on Monastir was a tough ask for their BAL debut: “The difference was an experience. I think they were more experienced than us, but we don’t need to be ashamed of our performance.
“We have a young, hungry team, and I think for the next games, we will take this game as a lesson and be more confident in ourselves and try to be better.”
Kwara Falcons will try to redeem themselves as they battle Stade Malien in their next game on the 14th of March, 2023.
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