MAPUTO (FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women 2016) - Upe Atosu has rescued First Bank from what looked like to be an imminent defeat against GS Petroliers of Algeria on Monday. But somehow, the Nigerians improved their FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women 2016 Group B record to 2-1.
The Western Africans entered the final quarter trailing by one, but they never gave up even though they struggled to attack against the Algerians' defense zone.
Although Congolese Mireille Nyota dominated the painted area leading GS Petroliers with game-highs 22 points and 12 rebounds, Atosu became First Bank's new hero.
Atosu, who led the Nigerian champs with a team-high 20 points, not only made the game-changer, but she also forced GS Petroliers' guard Rachida Belaidi to turn the ball over in key moments of the game.
With the win, First Bank climbed to second in Group B behind ACCW reigning champions Primeiro D'Agosto who trounced United States International University (USIU) 98-41 in Monday's second game.
Both D'Agosto's Luisa Tomas and USIU's Georgina Otieno finished with game-highs 18 points each.
In the meantime, hosts Ferroviario de Maputo secured a comprehensive 79-59 win over Cameroonian side Forces Armees et de Police (FAP), improving their Group A record to 2-1.
Despite a tough start, the Mozambicans managed a 34-28 lead at the break.
Leonel Manhique's team kept their momentum going, extending their lead to 60-46 at the end of the third period.
Mozambican international Odelia Mafanela played a pivotal role in this do-or-die encounter, igniting her team with a game-high 18 points.
Three of her teammates including Ingvild Mucauro, Anabela Cossa and Vilma Covane combined for 35 points.
Bella Mba Minna led the Cameroonians with a team-best 17 points but her effort was not good enough to stop the local side from their second win in three games.
As a result, the FIBA ACCW 2015 bronze medallist have made a big step close to the Second-Place finish in Group A.
Early in the day, ACCW debutant Togolese side Etoile Filante experienced yet another tough lesson as they suffered their second defeat in as many games.
The Togolese lost against Kenya Ports Authority 71-55.
Kenyan international Hilda Indasi and Mercy Wanyama led the floor with game-highs 17 points apiece.
On the other side, Christelle Houessou, Elom Agossa and Rachel Ndukue combined for 38 points in the losing effort.