Temps de lecture : 2 mn 🕗
ANTANANARIVO (Madagascar) – It was a hard and ironic day for Madagascar as they watched egypt conquer their fourth fiba u18 African Championship title in front of a packed Palais des Sports Gym, in Antananarivo.
Egypt took home the continental trophy by outclassing Madagascar 81-54.
Things were not bright for Madagascar from the start as they fell under the blows of their opponent.
The Malagasy, at first, tried to stay in touch, but their pugnaciousness lasted only the first quarter, which they still lost 20-13.
Egypt then made a small case of the opposition as they cruised to a 20-point (41-21) half-time lead.
By the end of the third quarter, Egypt looked unreachable thanks to a 61-42 advantage.
But it was not until the middle of the fourth quarter, when it was all said and done, that Madagascar brought out the artillery as they tried to close the gap. But it was too late.
Egypt's Ibrahim “Bibo” Zahran was crucial for the Pharaohs after contributing 26 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 21 efficiency.
Seifeldin Hendawy was the other man of the moment for Egypt. He homed in another 12 points, along with 3 rebounds.
Mathias M'Madi, Jerry Pepin Rabibisoa and Andyerson Andriatsarafara – the only Malagasy to score in double figures – combined for 39 Madagascar points.
Belal Elshakery, Egypt's captain, was more than happy to have helped Egypt conquer the title once more.
“We fought throughout the entire tournament. We had some strong opposition, but we finally made it back to the top of Africa,” says the 2.00m (6ft 7in) forward.
But he admitted that things weren't that easy for his side as they battled a pugnacious Madagascar who played in front of their public.
“The crowd was definitely fantastic, Very sportsmanlike and respectful. They understood that it was just a game and I'd like to tell them that they are a fantastic crowd. I love the crowd here !”
Elshakery now has eyes set on the next FIBA u19 Basketball World Cup. “We want to do what no Egyptian team has achieved before. That is to reach the Quarter-Finals and write our own piece of history.”
For Madagascar's head coach Aime Marcel Randria, things did not work out properly. “We fell to the strongest team here. But we cannot have regrets.We did a great tournament, supported by a wonderful crowd. And we qualified for the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup for the first time in our history. So we cannot overlook what the boys have achieved.”
In the Classification Game earlier, Mali overtook Angola 79-54 to claim a third-place finish at this year's FIBA U18 Africa Championship.