Al Ahly will carry the favourites' tag going into the final, but basketball games are won on court and not in the record books.
Al Ahly head coach Agustin Julbe Bosch will be leading another Egyptian side to the Basketball Africa League final.
The second semi-final ended with the Egyptian side edging Stade Malien 78-73 in a nervy contest Wednesday night at the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, to set up a clash with Senegal's AS Douanes in the final game.
And with Petro de Luanda out, Al Ahly will now have to contend with a hungry Douanes side that has already claimed big scalps in their second BAL season.
10:28 - 25.05.2023
The pair of Jean Jacques Boissy and Marcus Crawford was unplayable for Petro and made it tough for every matchup thrown at them.
Douanes defeated last year's champions US Monastir 76-60 in the Sahara Conference to lock them out of the playoffs and are also responsible for Petro's exit at the semis.
After the loss on Wednesday, Petro centre Jone Pedro said about Douanes that: "They are a bit unorthodox, not as organized as Al Ahly."
What Pedro did not reveal is the fact that Douanes are a very dangerous team on various fronts and will trouble any opponent they come up against.
Mamadou Gueye's side can shoot the ball and have a presence in the paint to block shots and trouble the opponent around the rim on offence.
"We have a very physical game against Douanes," Julbe told the press after his team's victory.
In Marcus Crawford, Jean Jacques Boissy and Alkaly Ndour, Douanes have a backcourt that can handle the ball and direct traffic to run the team's offence.
Head coach Gueye also handed youngsterKhaman Maluach his start of the tournament to add length and presence in the paint, and it paid off as the 16-year-old made two-of-two from the field and was sent to the free throw line twice, scoring three-of-four to tally seven points in the end.
Power forward Mathew Bryan-Amaning combines size and shot-making and will be a handful for any matchup in the final.
He shot six-for-six from the field, including two threes against Petro, en route to 14 points and six rebounds.
What is for sure is that Al Ahly will have it tough against a very competitive Douanes side that seems to enjoy playing defence.
Al Ahly are playing in the BAL for the first time, having missed out on the first two seasons.
But that will not take away the experience the Egyptian giants have got at the top level in the African continent.
They will carry the favourites' tag going into the final, but basketball games are won on court and not in the record books.
Ehab Amin, who scored a team-high 21 points, said: "I think experience is one of our advantages; we've played a lot of finals and been in these situations before on the winning side and on the losing side. We just came from the finals of the Super League in Egypt."
He added" "All the games were very tough and very close, so I think we're a super close group."
Ahly had to dig deep into their bench to get over the line against a stubborn Malien side rallied on by a partisan crowd.
On a night when Omar Oraby only scored two points, Micheal Fakuade stepped up for 10 points, four rebounds, and two assists to provide the much-needed offence down the stretch.
Corey Webster, Nuni Omot and Michael Thompson, the three additions to the team, have all played like they have been with Ahly for seasons.
The North Africans' depth and experience might give them the edge in the final, but Douanes will undoubtedly pose a significant threat to Ahly's title hopes.