Day one of FIBA AfroBasket 2021 is in the books, as teams in Groups A and B now have a taste of the competition with one game under their belts.
The best moment of the day came from Group A, as host Rwanda defeated Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo DR) 84-68 behind the enthusiastic support from their fans, despite 28 turnovers.
The win was possibly the most important one in the country’s history.
William Robeyns led the way for Rwanda with 23 points, three rebounds, two assists and four steals, while shooting an efficient 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-9 from three-point.
Kenny Gasana came close to a triple-double, recording 13 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, along with four steals.
Maxi Munanga Shamba led Congo DR with 22 points and seven assists.
In the first game of the day, defending AfroBasket 2017 champion Tunisia earned a big win over Guinea, 82-46 in Group B.
Former NBA big man Salah Mejri led Tunisia with 17 points and four blocks, while naturalized player Michael Roll and Omar Abada also scored in double figures with 14 points and 10 points, respectively.
The other game in Group B between Egypt and Central African Republic saw Egypt win 72-56 behind Ehab Amin’s 22 points (7-of-13 FG, 4-of-6 3P) and six steals.
Central African Republic struggled shooting, as they made more free throws (22) than field goals (14), shooting just 25.5 percent from the field.
The one downside to Egypt’s win was when center Anas Mahmoud suffered a shoulder injury.
He was ultimately diagnosed with a dislocation and rupture of the shoulder cartilage, and he will be out for at least 10 days, essentially ending his tournament, the Egyptian Basketball Federation announced.
In the final and closest game of the day, Cape Verde took down Angola, 77-71 in overtime in Group A.
Cape Verde outscored Angola 11-5 in overtime.
Walter Tavares led the way for Cape Verde with 20 points, 18 rebounds, six blocks and three steals.
The most memorable moment of the game came when Tavares shattered the backboard after a dunk, leading to a delay with the game tied at 66 with one minute left in the fourth quarter.
Cape Verde carried the momentum through to the end to secure the big win.
Carlos Morais, playing in his eighth AfroBasket, led Angola with 21 points, four rebounds and three steals.
Groups A and B standings:
Next games for Group A: Cape Verde vs. Congo DR and Angola vs. Rwanda on Aug. 26.
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Next games for Group B: Guinea vs. Central African Republic and Egypt vs. Tunisia on Aug. 26.