Spain's Alvaro Masa powered Ferroviario de Maputo to an unexpected 88-74 win over Senegalese champions AS Douanes on Wednesday night in the Basketball Africa League.
Masa, who finished a rebound short of a double-double, was instrumental in the Mozambican side's win over the stronger, younger Senegalese side, and afterwards called it one of the greatest moments of his career.
His game-high 26 points was his second straight with 20+ points in the BAL, after recording 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 71-55 loss to Zamalek on Monday. Masa later insisted the victory "was a team effort."
"This is one of the greatest moments of my career," said the 38-year-old Masa.
"We knew that if we lost this game we would be on the way home, but now we can dream about a chance of continuing in this special event."
His teammates came up big as well. Congolese Myck Kabongo contributed 20 points and a game high 12 assists in 37 minutes, while Demarcus Holland scored 19 points and Baggio Chimonzo sunk two three-pointers to finish with eight points off the bench.
Ivory Coast player Adjehi Baru, who sat out Ferroviario's first game, provided a lifeline presence in the paint, finishing with a game high 11 rebounds while scoring 13 points. Ferroviario improved their Group C's mark to 1-1.
Unlike their opening game against Zamalek, Ferroviario was more aggressive, more vocal and played as a team. They also moved the ball better and out-rebounded AS Douanes 46-41.
AS Douanes player Mamadou Faye said his team isn't done yet, despite the loss.
"We have learning from the mistakes and make adjustments to the next game," said Faye, who led his team with 21 points.
"We believe in our chances, nothing is lost. I believe that we still can advance to the knock-out round."
Despite AS Douanes' bench outscoring Ferroviarios' bench 50-8, they still trailed by as many as 14 points at times.
"My players were a bit nervous to execute our game plan," AS Douanes head coach Mamadou Gueye said.
"They missed a number of shots and that made them even more nervous. Yes, anxiety played a part in this result."
Ferroviario de Maputo and AS Douanes resume their BAL campaign on Saturday, May 22 when they take on Algeria's GSP and Zamalek, respectively.