#FIBAU16Africa

What happened on Day 1 of the 2023 FIBA U16 African Championship

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Temps de lecture : 5 mn 🕗

MONASTIR (Tunisia) – Two title contenders, Egypt and Mali opened their 2023 FIBA U16 African Championship campaigns on the winning side, but things were different for hosts Tunisia on Thursday in Monastir.

Below we look back at what happened on Day 1 of the tournament.

EGYPT v MOROCCO (GROUP B)

Reigning champions Egypt sent a statement out after trouncing Morocco 100-79.

Mohamed Wael Shahin, better known by his peers as Mido, scored 13 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. He maintained that Egypt didn’t have a fantastic game. “We started the game badly and Morocco led us 16-7 at the start but we only came back to win the quarter 26-24. It wasn’t an easy game for us but as champions, we hope to do better in our other games,” he told FIBA.basketball.

Wael was joined in the top scorers list by Nour Hady Elsawy and Omar Elsisi who contributed for the 13 points apiece, and Youssef Elhalawany who drilled a team-high19 points.

Shahin says his outlook is to return to Egypt with the trophy.

Though, Morocco’s Mohamed Regragui had a game-high 23 points, he was saddened by his team’s loss against Egypt.

Regragui believes he can score more like he does for his club back home but that he wants everyone to get back together and play.

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Morocco Coach Mohamed Nizar Mesbahi says he didn’t expect anything less from Egypt given that his is a new team and have not been in this competition for awhile. “I’m proud of the players and have played the way we did is an improvement losing with 21 points. We hope to get better,” Mesbahi admitted.

MALI v COTE D’IVOIRE (GROUP A)

Mali had a swell time in the opening game of the day with a 72-49 win over Cote d’Ivoire with Mahamadou Diop holding sway on the court with a double-double score of 18 points, 13 rebounds and 2 assists.

Lire aussi :  {:fr}En direct : CRBT vs. USFAS, Mali Ligue 1 Orange / J4 (Hommes){:}{:en}Live: CRBT vs. USFAS in Mali Ligue 1 Orange / J4 (Men){:}

Sekou Bagayoko added 17 points, 10 rebounds and 1 assist to ensure that Mali, which finished as runners-up in 2021, began on a good note.

Mahamadou Dit Kouye Diop (Mali)

Diop told FIBA.basketball that he never planned to be top scorer in the game but that he is glad to have helped the team win.

“I never intended to be leading scorer in this game but it’s great that we won. My real job is to get the rebounds and I intend to do more in that area. If the opportunity to score comes, I will take it.”

Chectare Baradji contributed 11 points and noted that this is only the team’s first game. “It’s great to have won and we intend to get better as we progress. We made some mistakes that we will work on to get better because we’re here for nothing else other than the title.”

Despite Cote d’Ivoire’s loss, the team is of the view that they can get better. Two players, Sedji Tedje and Konan Koffi scored 10 points apiece but it was not enough to deter the Malians.

For Koffi, his dream for being in the team, is to help his country win. “Scoring 10 points is not the issue for me but winning is. My intention here is to play in the final and perhaps take the title too but we will work hard to get back on track.”

Cote d’Ivoire head coach Samadjingar Eloi Ngardinga, on his part, wants to move on to the next game and says he hopes the players will do same. “We made a lot of errors in the game against Mali but I just wish the players will say focused and work with our game plans as we go into the next game.”

Lire aussi :  {:fr}En direct : CRBT vs. USFAS, Mali Ligue 1 Orange / J4 (Hommes){:}{:en}Live: CRBT vs. USFAS in Mali Ligue 1 Orange / J4 (Men){:}

TUNISIA v RWANDA (GROUP A)

Host Tunisia had a false start as they lost to Rwanda 78-59 leaving their fans sad but hopeful of getting better in their remaining matches.

Rwanda were definitely the better side on the night as they kept the game under control through the first and second quarters.

Tunisia’s attempt to come strong in the third quarter saw them fight back against Rwanda to take the third quarter at 23-16 but it was not enough to stop the energetic East African nation from holding into victory as they restored dominance with 22-17 win in the last quarter.

CPrY5XtSAEi6L 0Fw0UE QRwanda celebrate win over hosts Tunisia on the opening day of the 2023 FIBA U16 African Championship

Rwanda captain Sean Williams was unstoppable as he garnered 34 points, 7 rebounds and 1 assist for game high.

Reacting to his team’s victory Williams said it was good to have started strong. “It’s often not easy playing a host team but we decided to take the game to them and forced them into turnovers that were in our favor. The victory gives us confidence going into other games.”

Ahmed Bedoui of Tunisia scored 22 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists in the encounter said the loss is a painful one. “Forget my 22 points; I don’t play for the stats but for my team to win. I just hope we can get back and go for victory in our other games.”

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