Temps de lecture : 2 mn 🕗
ANTSIRABE (Madagascar) Seven-time champions Mali got their campaign of the 2022 FIBA U18 Women’s African Championship on the right footing, following a superb 124-24 victory against Group A opponents Algeria on Friday at the Gymnase Couvert D’Antsirabe.
Malian power forward Maimouna Haidara gave a dominant display and scored will against an Algerian defence that had no answers on how stop the CBD Clarinos Tenerife player.
The 18-year-old led her team in scoring with 27 points and also notched 11 rebounds. The West Africans also had five other players that scored in double figures, as they overpowered the inexperienced Algerians.
Point guards Badiaran Doumbia and Mariam Sarr dropped 18 points, while another guard Fatoumata Sanou scored 13 points. Forward Sira Theinou chipped in with 12 points and team captain Mariam Traore contributed 10 points to Mali’s 100 point victory.
Mali’s use of the fast-break helped them pull away from the North Africans in the first quarter and with two minutes left in that period, the West Africans had a commanding 15-point lead (23-8). The 2018 champions would eventually finish the quarter 28-8 up.
The Malians continued their dominance in the second quarter and gave balanced attacking performance, by moving the ball around and exhibited good shooting from inside and outside the arc. At the defensive end the Malians were solid as the Algerians only registered a single point, which was a single free-throw made by Douae Boumerkhoufa.
Mali, who kept the scoreboard ticking at their end (54-9), were led by Haidara with 15 pts and Doumbia’s 10 at the close of the first-half.
With two quarters remaining, the game which was already over as a contest, saw Mali put the finishing touches on a perfect opening day performance.
Winning coach Sory Diakite believes how his Malian began the game had set the tone for victory. “We started slowly and after we increased our tempo, which our opposition could not match,” said Diakite, who stated that his team’s main objective is to win the tournament. “Our goal is clear, we want to win. Two years ago we lost the title, so we have come here to win.”
EGYPT PROVE TOO MUCH FOR GUINEA
In Friday’s the second and final game, defending champions Egypt, who were led 29 points and 10 rebounds from Jana Elalfy, proved too much firepower and used their size to great effect to storm past Guinea in a 111-38 victory.
The Egyptians, who are in Group B, had six players join power forward Elalfy in double figures. Jana Elshamy (15), Tamara I brahim and Jana Sallman both scored 12 points, while Maya Ahmed and Jana Ahmed contributed 10 points to the Egyptians 73 point victory.
Egyptian coach Mostafa Hadhood says the level of preparation for this tournament was different to previous ones as the number of teams competing had increased.
“We have come here to compete and win. We are the champions and because of that the approach to each game is different. There are good teams in the tournament and it’s the first time that we have eight teams playing. In the last two tournaments, there were two or three teams competing. We had prepare extra for this tournament and I hope we reach the final,” said Hadhood.