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Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Basketball: Egypt's Ahly crowned African champions for first time

Hatem Maher , Friday 16 Dec 2016
Egypt
Egypt's Ahly basketball players celebrating their win over Angola's Libolo (http://alahlyegypt.com/)
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Hosts Ahly of Egypt won the FIBA Africa Clubs Champions Cup for the first time following a 68-66 victory over Recreativo do Libolo in a nail-biting final on Friday.

Although Ahly had the lead for most of the game, Libolo threatened to snatch a victory in the fourth quarter after going neck and neck with the Red Devils.

With Ahly leading 65-64 with nine seconds remaining, American Wayne Arnold hit two free throws to give his team a three-point advantage. At the other end, Libolo also followed with two free throws with little more than five seconds from time.

With the score 67-66, Ahly hit another free throw and missed another but it was too little, too late for Libolo to score and claim a stunning win.

Another American, Markeith Cummings, stole the show with some three-pointers as Ahly produced an impressive display, building on their semi-final 71-65 win over Nigeria's Kano Pillars. They led 33-31 at halftime against Libolo. 

Two third-place finishes in 2004 and 2012 were previously the best results for Ahly in Africa's premier club competition.

Ahly are the fourth Egyptian side to win the coveted trophy following Gezira (four titles), Ittihad (one title) and Zamalek (one title).

Angolan clubs have the lion's share of African triumphs, with record winners Primeiro de Agosto claiming eight titles, Petro Atletico two and Libolo one. 

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