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Walter Hodge sets the tone as Zamalek move into BAL quarterfinals

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Hodge's 3-pointer increases Zamalek's lead over FAP (0:16)

Walter Hodge of Zamalek stars as the Egyptian side sweep aside FAP in the quarterfinals of the Basketball Africa League. (0:16)

Zamalek point guard Walter Hodge scored nine of his 12 points in the opening quarter, sparking his team to a 97-64 win over Algeria's GSP at Kigali Arena on Monday.

The 34-year-old was 4-for-4 from the floor including a three-pointer, giving the Egyptian outfit a 37-16 lead at the end of the first 10 minutes.

Hodge wasn't the only Zamalek player who had a sense of urgency. Moustafa Elmekawi led his team with 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Anas Mahmoud contributed 13 points and eight rebounds. Ahmed Abdellatef scored 11 points off the bench.

The former African champions' quick start reflected Zamalek's authority as they stretched their lead to 35 points.

GSP played without their two leading scorers -- Mohamed Harat and Abdellah Hamdini. They fought hard, going on a 6-0 mini-run in the third quarter, but Zamalek didn't panic. They remained in total control, leading from start to finish.

GSP were led by Algerian international player Seddik Touati, who finished with a game-high 20 points. Hichem Benayad-Cherif scored 10 points and Merouane Bourkaid added 11 for the five-time defending Algerian champions.

Zamalek's dominance was so evident that all 12 of their players played at least six minutes.

"I am happy for the win. We had only 18 turnovers today [after averaging 25.5 turnovers in the first two games]. That's an improvement compared to our first two matches," Elmekawi said in the post-game presser.

With the win, 3-0 Zamalek advanced to the BAL quarterfinals as winners of Group C.

"We are a team. There will be one game that one player will take centre stage, the next one could be another player, like Moustafa. Every player on this team will have his own opportunities. Of course, we have players with leading roles, but this is a team effort," Zamalek head coach Agust Julbe said.

"Walter is a key for us, he knows that. He had a good start, but it wasn't just him. The whole team got the job done."

Julbe acknowledged his team's progress offensively, but noted they have room for improvement on the defensive front.

"[Tonight] we had the worst defensive game in this tournament, considering that GSP missed two key players. We could have done better. But, in the end, it's a success that we won three games, we moved on to the next stage, and, hopefully, we'll keep winning games."