Reuben Chinyelu impressed and made valuable contributions from the bench helping Stade Malien cruise into the semi-finals of the 2023 BAL after a 78-69 win over the Cape Town Tigers on Saturday at the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda.
Although Aliou Diarra was the star performer for the Bamako-based basketball team scoring a team-high 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks, Chinyelu led the game in blocks.
The Nigerian, one of the six NBA Academy Africa players taking part in the Elevate Program had a game-high four blocks, 11 rebounds and seven points in 20 minutes off the bench.
Reacting to the victory, Chinyelu who had one of the dunks of the night said the team is excited for the win, “It was good to start with a win; We made some mistakes, but we were to close the game out. We are going to the film room and try to fix some mistakes.”
Stade Malien’s next game will be against African basketball powerhouse Al Ahly on May 24.
D’Tigers point guard Michael GbinIje who was on the losing end recorded a double-double for the Cape Town Tigers in the loss. He scored 10 points, 13 rebounds and five assists and two steals.
Gbinije, who was a second round 49th overall selection by the Detroit Pistons in the 2016 NBA Draft led the Cape Town Tigers in rebounds (13) and assists (5) in the loss.