Nigeria's Rivers Hoopers clinch historic BAL semi-final; Petro pip Douanes

Kelvin Amayo scored 18 points to help Rivers Hoopers to a BAL quarterfinal win against US Monastir. Nacer Talel/NBAE via Getty Images

KIGALI, Rwanda - Nigeria's Rivers Hoopers qualified for the Basketball Africa League (BAL) semifinals for the first time, beating Tunisia's US Monastir 92-88 on Monday, while Angola's Petro de Luanda edged Senegal's AS Douanes 66-65 to join them.

This means that all former BAL champions are now out of the tournament, and three of the four semifinalists are not from north Africa. The three previous editions were won by Egyptian or Tunisian teams, leaving it up to Al Ahly Ly of Libya to represent the north of the continent.

The evening began with fourth seed Rivers Hoopers facing fifth seed Monastir. Hoopers started strongest, but Monastir edged their way in front 21-20 by the time the first quarter finished.

The Nigerian side came out of the blocks quickest in the second quarter once again led by an inspired Will Perry. This time, they managed to hold the lead, going into half-time 45-40 up.

Chris Crawford had a superb third quarter for Monastir, but the Nigerian champions held their own and led 68-62 heading into the final 10 minutes of the game.

Kelvin Amayo had a quiet first half but became increasingly influential as Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu needed him most. He and Perry sank shots deep in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 85-73.

Monastir tried to stage a late comeback, going on a 7-0 run before Perry broke the run by sinking a free throw with just over 30 seconds left.

It may have been their first ever appearance at the BAL quarter-finals, but Rivers Hoopers played like an experienced outfit as they saw out the closing stage of the game to seal the win.

"We have super smart guys on the team [and] a super humble coach that lets everybody speak and lets the ideas flow, so to be honest, it's a combination of really smart players and coaches and then everyone has humility. We take the best idea to get up the court and execute it," Perry said on Rivers Hoopers' game management.

Perry finished with 33 points and Amayo and Peter Olisemeka 18 apiece, while Devine Eke got 16. For Monastir, Crawford scored 31 and Oussama Marnaoui 22.

The second game of the night was a slug-fest from the first whistle. Petro led 13-8 at the end of the first quarter, but Douanes ate into that lead slightly and went into half-time 28-25 behind.

Led by Jean-Jacques Boissy and Abdoulaye Harouna, Douanes took control of the game in the third quarter and led 56-42.

However, Petro fought back in the fourth quarter and a three-pointer from Nick Faust levelled the scores at 64-64 with 38.4 seconds left and Petro took a 66-65 lead shortly afterwards.

The Angolan champions held on to qualify for the semis, where they will face South Africa's Cape Town Tigers in an all-Southern African encounter.

Rivers Hoopers will face Libya's Al Ahly Benghazi, with both semi-finals scheduled to take place on Wednesday.