Algeria's GSP clinch the 'Elite 16' West Division top spot
www.fiba.basketbal|02-Dec-2019 18:49

YAOUNDE (Cameroon)- Algeria's GSP  had to ward off a spectacular late comeback from the hosts FAP to clinch the "Elite 16" West Division top spot with both outfits having wormed their way to the maiden Basketball Africa League a day before.

GSP overpowered FAP 92-88 after dominating the first three quarters of the game.

The Algerian giants began the game on top gear securing the first quarter 26-21 before extending their lead to 19 points at the break as they led 52-33 at Half-Time.

Mohammed Touati and Hichem Cherif contributed 40 points recording half of GSP’s tally as the Algerian giants outrebounded FAP 58-52 to cruise to an emphatic third quarter lead 69-55.

But as it’s been the case in their run-up to the "Elite 16" West Division final, FAP mounted a spectacular comeback cutting the deficit to 2 points (88-86) with 1:12 to go.

The hosts were spurred by their guard Jordan Rezendes who brought in a crucial team-best 15 points converting 7 of his 11 attempts from the charity line.

The 27-year-old contributed 5 assists while his mates Arnold Kome and 20-year-old Forward Landry Bilong contributed 13 points apiece as FAP slumped to a 92-88 loss.

At the end of their gripping victory, GSP coach Soufiane Boulaya stated he was elated his side could conclude the tournament beautifully. 

"FAP were a worthy opponent. They spurred us to play on our best level and this is great for African basketball. I hope that all the teams qualified from the West Division will perform well at the BAL Regular Season."

FAP’s guard Rezendes was impressed with the crowd and hoped the Cameroon outfit will strengthen ahead of the Regular Season.

"The crowd was electrifying and it was amazing playing here. We have a good team and we’ve been able to pick up a few things from here. Going forward we can improve and the goal for us is to be worthy representatives at the BAL next year."

GSP, FAP and AS Police join already-qualified representatives from Angola (Petro de Luanda), Egypt (Zamalek), Morocco (AS Sale), Nigeria (Rivers Hoopers), Senegal (AS Douanes) and Tunisia (Union Monastir) for next year’s BAL.