The eagerly anticipated high octane Group A clash at the inaugural BAL tournament in Kigali, Rwanda saw 5-times Tunisian champions US Monastir hammer home side Patriots BBC 91-75. Not even the presence of Rwanda’s First Family and the home crowd could inspire a comeback from the home team who had gone ahead in the First quarter.
The Patriots who are 4-times Rwandan Basketball league champions since their inception in 2014 couldn’t match US Monastir’s impeccable form, with Lebanese international Point guard Wael Arakji inspiring the win with a 28 point performance.
American hip-hop star Jermaine Lamarr Cole popularly known as J-Cole playing his third professional match couldn’t replicate his mic and stage heroics to help the Patriots secure a win that would have helped them cement a top position in Group A. The 36-year-old singer, rapper, and producer was a standout player during his high school days but had failed to turn pro until his debut for the Patriots against Nigeria’s River Hoops scoring 3 points, securing 3 rebounds making 2 assists in just under 18 minutes on the court. Cole turned professional just 6 days after releasing his highly anticipated sixth studio album. However, the loss was inconsequential to the Patriots as they were already through to the quarter-finals having won their second group match against Mozambique’s GNBC 78-72. The Patriots will be looking to put aside the disappointments of their loss and getting their campaign back on track to write their name in history books as the inaugural Basketball African League champions