Day three of FIBA AfroBasket 2021 was a fun one, as all four games were decided by a total of 14 points, including host Rwanda’s thrilling win over Angola.
Despite being outrebounded by 24, Rwanda still managed to pull off the win, 71-68.
“It was a hard-fought victory for us and a special feeling that we were able to humble the former Africa champion. I like to dedicate the much-treasured victory to my teammates for their dedication,” said Rwanda captain Kenny Gasana.
Gasana led the way for Rwanda with 18 points.
William Robeyns struggled with his shot (2-of-7 from the field), but became the main facilitator, dishing out nine assists.
Rwanda head coach Cheick Sarr praised his team for their performance.
“It is the joy of any coach to see that your players and support staff positively interpret what you teach and make good use of them,” he said. “We will approach our final group game against Cape Verde with all seriousness but we will not throw caution to the wind.”
Angola had several chances to take the lead or extend a lead on different occasions, but didn’t capitalize on their opportunities and Rwanda held their ground.
Veteran Carlos Morais shot 1-of-9 from the field and 1-of-7 from three-point and as a team, Angola shot 33.3 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from three-point.
The 35-year-old also missed two free throws that would have stretched Angola’s lead to four with over six minutes left.
With the win, Rwanda moved to 2-0 in Group A and booked their spot in the next round.
Angola fell to 0-2 and must win their last group phase game against Congo DR to have a chance to advance.
In the first game of the day in Group B, Central African Republic secured their first win of the tournament by defeating Guinea 61-60 on a game-winning shot by Jimmy Djimrabaye with about five seconds left.
Djimrabaye and Max Kougere led with 16 points each.
Cedric Mansare and Cheick Conde combined for 35 of Guinea’s 60 points.
Central African Republic move to 1-1, while Guinea faces a must-win final group phase game against Egypt.
In a Group A game, Congo DR edged out Cape Verde 70-66.
Cape Verde couldn’t follow-up on their exciting overtime win against Angola.
Congo DR had three players score in double figures with Henry Pwono (19 points), Maxi Munanga Shamba (12 points) and Patrick Mwamba (12 points).
Cape Verde’s Joel Almeida (18 points), Ivan Almeida (16 points) and Jeffrey Xavier (14 points) combined for 48 points, 72.7 percent of the team’s total.
Center Walter Tavares followed up his big first game with a 10-rebound, four-block performance.
Both teams are now 1-1 and have important final group phase games.
In the final game of the day from Group B, Tunisia took down North African rival Egypt 87-81.
Tunisia was down by as many as 19 points in the first half and trailed 45-38 at halftime, but stormed out to a 16-0 run to start the third quarter.
Michael Roll led Tunisia with 25 points and center Salah Mejri also chipped in 17 points and eight rebounds.
Ehab Amin led Egypt with 17 points.
Tunisia shot an astounding 22-of-25 from two-point (88 percent), but only 15.4 percent from three-point on 4-of-26 shooting,
Egypt left several points at the free throw line, shooting 20-of-35 (57.1 percent).
With the win, Tunisia has secured their spot in the next round.
Groups A and B standings:
Next games for Group A: Congo DR vs. Angola and Rwanda vs. Cape Verde on Aug. 28.
|3||Central African Rep.||2||1||1||50.0||117||132||-15||58.5||66||3|
Next games for Group B: Egypt vs. Guinea and Tunisia vs. Central African Republic on Aug. 28.