Adonis Filer’s superb display on Tuesday night propelled Rwanda Energy Group (REG) to an 80-73 win over Abidjan Basket Club (ABC).
It was REG’s second win in as many games in the Sahara Conference, while ABC dropped to 1-1.
Filer did a bit of everything to spark the Rwandan champions.
From making stops on the defensive end to shooting 8-for-17 to go with 25 points, and add 4 rebounds and 6 assists, Filer earned the man-of-the-match recognition.
Two of his 3-pointers in the third quarter ignited REG to a 16-0 run (57-52), which turned out as the game-changing moment for the Kigali-based outfit.
And although Stephane Konate’s three-pointer cut the gap to 57-55, and ABC retook the lead (60-59) midway through the fourth, it was a short-lived run for the Ivorian champions, who struggled to find answers to REG’s scoring runs later in the fourth.
REG headed to the fourth quarter leading 63-62, and they never looked back to stay perfect in the Sahara Conference, and keep their playoff aspirations alive.
“They are a good team. They had their runs and we couldn’t answer, especially in the third quarter,” admitted ABC guard Don Robinson Jr who finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
““We just to go back in the back and get better for the next game. We didn’t make a lot of shots that we usually hit. We just need to get there, get rebounds and try to win the next game.”
Stephane Konate made 5 of this 10 three-point attempts to lead ABC in scoring with 16; Abdoulaye Harouna was 4-for-13 from the floor to contribute 12, and Mike Fofana, a key offensive weapon for ABC finished 3 points.
With four ABC starters (Harouna, Chris Obekpa, Don Robinson Jr and Mike Fofana) combining for 30 points, ABC bench needed to intervene, contributing 27 points, 11 more than REG’s.
“We knew if we kept our positivity and shared the ball we could bring the game in our favour, and that’s what gave us this win,” insisted REG shooting guard Dieudonne Ndizeye who contributed 10 points.
“Am happy for this second win, but there are still three games to play. Our focus right now is switching to AS Douanes.”
REG return to action on Wednesday against hosts AS Douanes, who desperately need to bounce back after a loss on the opening night, while ABC take on the defending champions US Monastir on Thursday, March 17.