The joy of Guinean basketball players after their victory against Rwanda at Afrobasket 2021, in Kigali on August 30, 2021. © Courtesy of Fiba
Temps de lecture : 2 mn 🕗
Opposed to Egypt at the Kigali Arena in the play-offs of the quarter-finals of the African basketball championship on Monday, the Angolans did not tremble. Victorious 70-62, they won their ticket to face Senegal. Guinea, it tore itself to eliminate Rwanda (72-68). After this big performance, the Guineans have an appointment with the Ivory Coast.
Victorious 11 times of Afrobasket in its history, systematically on the podium between 1983 and 2015, Angola fell from the top, during the 2017 edition, with an elimination from the quarter-finals against Senegal. With one victory and two losses in Group A, this 2021 Afrobasket almost turned into a fiasco. But the Palancas Negras came close and won the right to play a qualifying play-off for the quarter-finals on Monday, August 30.
Opposed to Egypt, the Angolans did not tremble. After a balanced first act, they took control to arrive at the break with an eight point lead (33-25). In the third quarter, Angola kept control and counted up to 16 lengths in advance, to finally lead 52-41 at the start of the final quarter. On arrival, the Egyptians could only reduce the gap against their opponents (70-62). The effectiveness of Carlos Morais, top scorer in the match (16 points, 4 successful baskets out of 7 with three points), hurt Egypt.
The hour of revenge has thus come for coach Josep Claros and his men. In the quarter-finals, Senegal stands, like four years ago.
The Guinean collective defeats the host country
The other play-off played on Monday offered its share of emotions to players and spectators. Rwanda, in front of its public, believed to hold its qualification before undergoing the return of hell of unchained Guineans. After a hotly contested first half of the game, where the points gap was never more than 4, the Syli only led 31-30. In the third quarter, the Rwandans started the second against a suddenly powerless Guinea. At 12 minutes from the end, the Rwandan was in the lead, 54-44.
But now, success changed sides from the start of the last quarter, and the Guineans resurfaced in a flash. Their opponents stayed in touch but were never able to turn the tide again. If the Rwandan selection relied above all on Kenny Gasana (28 points), Guinea was more homogeneous with four men more than ten points (16 for Cédric Mansaré, 15 for Cheick Sekou Condé, 13 for Mohamed Queta and 12 for Abdoulaye Sy). With in addition a well-adjusted sight on the free throw line (77.3% success, and an 8/8 for Mansaré), the Guinean cocktail got the better of Rwanda in Kigali (72-68).
Eliminated in the first round with three losses in as many matches during the Afrobasket 2017, no luckier in the previous editions of 1962, 1980, 1983 and 1985, Guinea is invited for the first time to the quarter-finals. She will face her the dreaded Ivory Coast, impeccable in the first round (three matches, three wins).
Le Syli basket 🇬🇳 s’impose dans une Kigali Arena chauffée a Block 🔥 face au Pays Organisateur et accède Au 1/4 de finale 72-68 pic.twitter.com/mWR6ZbxM1I
— FGBB (@fgbb_officiel) August 30, 2021
Qualifying play-offs for the quarter-finals
Nigeria-Uganda (Tuesday August 31)
South Sudan-Kenya (Tuesday August 31)
Ivory Coast-Guinea (Wednesday September 1)
Senegal-Angola (Wednesday September 1)
Cape Verde-Nigeria or Uganda (Thursday 2 September)
Tunisia-South Sudan or Kenya (Thursday, September 2)
Source : RFI