Temps de lecture : 5 mn 🕗
KIGALI (Rwanda) – There was a bit of everything during the classification Round of the 2023 FIBA Women's AfroBasket. Suspense, surprise, joy, tears of sadness as some teams made it to the Quarter-finals and others missed out on the Last Eight race.
After Cameroon upsetting Mozambique, then Uganda shocking Senegal early in the tournament, there had to be another stunning result.
And it was Guinea who came up with it, when they outplayed two-time African champions Angola 71-69 to reach the Quarter-Finals for the first time since 1994.
In the other games, Senegal redeemed themselves from their slow start to the tournament to see off Egypt 71-60, while Mozambique calmly cruised to the Last Eight after beating Cote d'Ivoire. Uganda stunningly grabbed the last ticket to the Quarters festival that will happen on Wednesday, August 2.
Below is a recap of Tuesday's games at the BK Arena in Kigali
ANGOLA v GUINEA
It was a day of many firsts for Guinea.
Beating Angola 71-60 is part of their prowess, thanks a Masseny Kaba, who did a bit of everything at both ends of the court to help the Western African nation reach the Quarter-Finals for the first time since 1994.
After a bad start to the tournament when Guinea lost to Mozambique 99-40, they were more consistent in their second game, against Cameroon.
But though the gap was still huge, they showed another face, this time more pugnacious. And this was thanks to the power Kaba's presence.
Against Angola, Kaba accounted for 26 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists. “We're more than happy with this win. Everyone saw us as underdogs and we were ok with that. We just wanted to show that women's basketball is a thing in Guinea,” she said to FIBA.basketball.
Guinea will face 2021 silver medalists Mali in the Quarter-Finals with the hopes of causing another upset.
As Guinean power forward Masseny Kaba herself puts it, qualifying for the Quarter-Finals is an achievement in itself and Guinea will give their best shot at Mali in their next game. “When we had such a bad start, nobody would have bet a dime on us. But we're here and we're going to fight from the tip-off till the end.”
SENEGAL v EGYPT
Senegal have finally redeemed themselves from their opening losses to Mali and Uganda by overcoming Egypt in the Classification Round game 71-60.
While the Teranga Lionesses had three players finishing with double digits to their figures, they suffered a 24-18 run from Egypt in the first quarter, before coming back 20-11 in the second.
The North Africans came up with a scheme to turn the tables, outscoring Senegal 17-13 in the third quarter. But the Senegalese, on the way to redemption, outplayed Egypt 20-8 to clinch their first victory at the 2023 FIBA Women's AfroBasket.
Fatou Babou Diagne was Senegal's top scorer with 17 points, to which she added 10 rebounds.
Yacine Diop and Aya Traore finished with 10 points each, while Oumoul Sarr and Fatou Dieng each finished one-point shy from a double-digit figure.
MOZAMBIQUE v COTE D'IVOIRE
After their surprising loss at the hands of Cameroon on the opening day, Mozambique knew they couldn't afford to lose the Qualification Round if they want to make it to the Semi-Finals.
But first, they had to make it through to the Quarter-Finals.
And they quite easily passed the Cote d'Ivoire test 70-48 to join the seven remaining teams who will fight for a spot in the Semi-Finals
Leia Dongue was once again the cornerstone of the Guerreiras' success, with a double-double (18 points, 13 rebounds) to her credits, while Tamara Seda claimed another one at 10 points and 11 rebounds. Silvia Veloso contributed 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals to the winning cause.
Mozambique will face reigning champions nigeria in their Quarter-Finals game, with the hopes of making it to the Semi-Finals.
UGANDA v DR CONGO
Uganda punched their names in the remaining ticket to reach their first ever Women's AfroBasket Quarter-Finals after seeing off Dr Congo 78-62.
Though it was DR Congo who had the best start with a 15-12 run, the Gazelles would eventually outscore their opponents during the second quarter (18-15) to level up (30-30) at half-time.
The turning point of the game happened when the East African nation came back from half-time with newfound energy in their legs. They concluded the third quarter with a 23-15 run and had a comfortable 8-point advantage to manage.
DR Congo, on the other hand, found new energy reserves and fought back, but Uganda scored 8 points more (25-17) than their opponent to claim the win and reach the Quarter-Finals stage.
Jannon Otto was once again at the forefront of the Gazelles' attack, leading the floor with 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Jane Asinde also chipped in 18 units to Uganda's total. Hope Akello was the best rebounder for Uganda with 11 boards.
Gracia Nguz and Ketia Mbelu held the forte for DR Congo, but their combined 28 points did not earn them the right to play in the next round.
Uganda will face Rwanda in the Quarter-Finals with the hopes of making it to the Final Four, a feat they have never achieved in two participations at FIBA Africa's flagship event for women.