Terrel Stoglin had his second highest Basketball Africa League (BAL) (www.BAL.nba.com) scoring performance on the day that AS Salé relaunched their Sahara Conference campaign.Stoglin had game-highs 34 points and 8 assists to help the Moroccan champions beat Ferroviário da Beira 95-84 on Wednesday night at Dakar Arena in Senegal.
It was the former African champions’ first win after losing to REG on Sunday.
Stoglin, who holds a record for most points scored in a BAL game (40), came up with the player-of-the-game performance not only for his scoring prowess, but also for his aggressiveness on both ends of the floor.
The Moroccan team trailed for most of the second half, but Stoglin triggered his team’s comeback when he converted two free-throws with 4:45 minutes left that put them in front 79-78.
“We played our hearts out,” Stoglin said. “We are warriors and that was key to our win tonight. We needed a momentum. My teammates always count on me and I did what I was supposed to do.”
The former University of Maryland star followed it up with a 2+1 play, Abdoulaye Haruna sank two free-throws and Salé looked in control of the game again.
But Khaled Boukichou – AS Salé’s unsung hero – kept his best after converting two straight three-pointers that stretched their lead to 90-80 with 2:10 minutes left.
Boukichou contributed nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and a block shot; Harouna scored 15 of his 22 points from behind the arc and Alvaro Masa, a man who has faced Beira more times than anybody in the BAL because of his two seasons playing for Beira rivals Ferroviário de Maputo, added 16 points.
“We desperately needed this win, otherwise we would be in trouble,” the Spaniard noted.
“We needed to adjust defensively because they scored almost 50 in the first half. I thought this helped us win this game tonight.”
Reflecting on the future of AS Salé in the Sahara Conference, Masa noted: “This tournament is very balanced, with the exception of Monastir who, I think, is above all the other teams.
Although looked consistent offensively, they struggled to protect their perimeter line, allowing 15 three-pointers that proved costly to them.
Randy Onwuasor led Beira with a team-high 19 points, Jermelle Kennedy contributed 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, William Perry was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc to finish with 14 points, and Helton Ubisse came up with his best BAL performance, so far, contributing 16 points and eight rebounds.
With the win, AS Salé improved their Sahara Conference to 1-1 while Beira dropped to 1-2.
BASKETBALL AFRICA LEAGUE’S SAHARA CONFERENCE GAMES – March 9 Game Recap
REG vs. S.L.A.C 83-81
AS Salé vs. Ferroviário da Beira 95-84
5:30 p.m. GMT – AS Salé vs. US Monastir
9:00 p.m. GMT – DUC vs. REG