Zamalek won the inaugural edition of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) after defeating US Monastir of Tunisia 76-63 in the final in Rwanda on Sunday.

The White Knights dominated the game from the outset, ending it with a 13-point lead.

The BAL is the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside North America. It was scheduled to tip off in March 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic reached Africa.

Zamalek reached the final after outclassing two-time African champions Petro de Luanda of Angola 89-71 in Saturday’s first semi-final of the 12-team tournament.

Foreign quartet Walter Hodge, Souleyman Diabate, Michael Fakuade and Chinemelu Elonu played a vital role in Zamalek’s achievement, with Hodge named as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). The award is named after Nigerian-American basketball legend Hakeem Olajuwon.

Diabate, Fakuade and Chinemelu, who joined Zamalek just before the tournament, will not play in the domestic league due to a cap on the number of foreign players in the country.

This title is the second for Zamalek after their FIBA Africa Champions Cup triumph in 1992.

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