Benmhine and FUS brace for energy sapping period

MONDAY marked the beginning of Ramadan (10 March – 9 April) for followers of the Islamic faith, and FUS Rabat player Soufiane Benmhine is no different.

Benmhine has played during the holy month in his home country Morocco, but he says the Basketball Africa League (BAL) could be different.

It’s because the league, which tipped off in South Africa last Saturday with the Kalahari Conference, has intense back-to-back matches. During the off day on Monday, Benmhine says he and his FUS teammates do not know what to expect when play resumes on Tuesday.

“It’s a tough period because we are in competition, but the medical staff is doing a great job by making sure we don’t use too much energy during games,” said Benmhine. “This is the first day (Monday) of Ramadan… Fortunately, there were no games today. We only practised. But tomorrow (Tuesday), we will know how it feels.”

FUS Rabat's Soufiane Benmhine
FUS Rabat coach Ali Bouzidi and Soufiane Benmhine will hope for a third win when they take on the Cape Town Tigers. Pictures: The BTO

The shooting guard reflected on his process: “It’s not the first time I am playing during Ramadan. I am used to it. The first two to three days are tough because your body is adjusting. What is difficult is playing in such a competition because it’s a high level,” said the 31-year-old.

Tuesday night sees the undefeated Rabat take on the winless Cape Town Tigers, who have a 0-2 record.

Benhmine says they will approach the game against the Tigers with the same humility they did in their opening victory against Angola’s Petro de Luanda.

“As the coach said in the last press conference (after the game against Petro), ‘There is no easy game’. Our approach is to be confident, but that’s not enough, there is a job to be done,” said the Moroccan international, who scored 12 points against Petro in his and Rabat’s BAL debut. “We played against Petro and got the win. We also saw Cape Town play against Petro last night (Sunday), and it was not an easy game.

“They have a lot of talented players. So we are serious. We are preparing well for every game.”


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Being well-prepared for elite competition is always the expectation of Morocco’s most successful team. Benhmine, a long-serving player at the club, is proud to be a part of the 18-time Division Execellance champions and helping to contribute to its history.

“I have played for FUS for a long time. I began this journey with them six years ago. Finally, we have achieved one of our objectives. I am proud to be part of the FUS family,” said Benhmine. “The team’s management has done a great job and they continue to improve our conditions. Hopefully, we will continue to win championships.”

A win over the Tigers will put FUS in a position to reach the playoffs, and a good seeding could put them in a position to be a title contender.

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