Dominant Mali get title defense off to flying start

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MONASTIR (Tunisia) – As the 2023 FIBA U16 Women’s African Championship got underway in Tunisia on Friday, Mali remain the team to beat as they humiliated Angola 80-32 in a highly one-sided clash that gets their title defense off to a spectacular start. 

 Who can stop the menacing Mali?

The seven-time champions are looking to bag their eighth title and continue their dominance, having won all the seven editions held so far.

Assitan Diarisso and Suzane Dembele stared for the side with 20 and 18 points respectively, a feat achieved in just over 25 minutes on the court for the former while Dembele’s numbers came off 14:47 minute of action and it was no surprise that her efficiency was miles above the rest of the field. 

Suzane Fatoumata Dembele (Mali)

Coach Moussa Sidibe had an easier time on the sidelines compared to Francisco Chauangue who could be seen pacing his side of the court aggressively directing play as his girls went 13-2 behind in the opening five minutes of the match. 

Mali led from the first whistle and dominated both on offense and defense, the only threat coming in the first quarter when Angola went on a seven-point scoring spree from 13-02 to 13-09 before fading away. 

With Angola’s baskets barely dropping, Mali scored 53 from turnovers in quarters of 17-10, 26-08, 16-07 and 21-07. 

Margarida Solunga and Ana Servico combined for 21 of Angola’s 32 points with 11 and 10 respectively. 


In the only competitive clash of the day, Sarah Mellouk-captained Morocco came from behind to beat a resilient Rwanda side 53-42 to mark a good start to their tournament.

Morocco celebrate their first win in the tournament

The Moise Mutokambali-coach East Africans had a good start, going 7-5 in the first five minutes of the clash. The second part of that second quarter was, however, littered with turnover after another with the two sides only managing two points each for 9-7 after ten minutes. 

A better second quarter saw Rwanda slip up, scoring 13 points against Morocco’s 16 to relinquish their lead as Thami Senouni’s side headed to the locker rooms with the slimmest of advantages at 23-22. 

On resumption, tables turned yet again as Rwanda went ahead 16-12 to reclaim their lead at 38-35 heading to the final period.

It was a disappointing final quarter for Rwanda who managed just four points the entire final stanza while Morocco remained consistent, making 18 for the win. 

Ines Boulboul who was on the floor the entire match repaid the coach’s belief in her with 20 points as Sabrin El Hilali added 16 in the win. 

Rwanda’s skipper Teta Nicole led by example, scoring 18 but none of her teammates complimented her efforts with double digits. 


The first century was registered on day one as hosts Tunisia went on a rampage against Guinea, winning 105-35 with the 70-point victory putting them ahead of the pack. 

Wissem Chrayet’s side opened the score just 22 seconds into the opening whistle and it was game on from the on as they dominated on all fronts for the massive victory.

Skipper Malak Chahidi led by example, scoring the only double-double of the day, 21 points and 10 rebounds, 7 on the defense, in just 23.44 minutes on the court.

Ines Ben Rejeb was second on the statistics scoring 20 with 5 turnovers and six assists in just over 22 minutes. Fanta Gaye top scored for Guinea with 11 points and 8 rebounds. 



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