Photo: FIBA

The final day of group play in AfroBasket 2021 has concluded and the qualification for the quarterfinal games are now set.

It was a must-win first game of the day.

Kenya, led by head coach Liz Mills, the first woman to coach a men’s national team at a continental tournament, took down Mali 72-66 to advance to the qualification for the quarterfinals.

This was Kenya’s first win at an AfroBasket in almost three decades.

“As an individual I feel great. We have been playing good, we just didn’t know how to finish it,” said Kenya’s Tylor Ongwae. “Now, it looks like we are getting our rhythm offensively. As the tournament goes on our offence will start clicking and we are going to be able to compete with the other teams.”

Kenya (1-2) finished third in Group C and will take on South Sudan who finished second in Group D.

Mali (0-3) was eliminated by finishing last in Group C.

Kenya was led by Ongwae, who almost recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

In the second game of the day, Cote d’Ivoire won Group D by defeating Nigeria 77-68.

Nisre Zouzoua led Cote d’Ivoire with 17 points, while shooting 4-of-4 from three-point.

As the top team from Group C, Cote d’Ivoire (3-0) locks up their spot in the quarterfinals.

Nigeria (2-1) finishes second in the group and advances to qualification for the quarterfinals where they will face Uganda, the third place team from Group D.

In a close, back-and-forth third game of the day, South Sudan edged out Uganda 88-86.

“We are young, we are having fun, and they play free,” said South Sudan head coach Royal Ivey. “They didn’t flinch. This is South Sudan basketball for you. They stayed connected from the first to the last minute and we pulled the game out.”

South Sudan’s Dhieu Deing, who just turned 20, scored 22 points to go along with five assists.

Uganda’s Ish Wainright triple-doubled in the loss with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

The win means that South Sudan finishes second in Group D and Uganda finishes third.

South Sudan (2-1) advances to qualification for the quarterfinals and will play Kenya, the third place team from Group C.

Uganda (1-2) also advances to qualification for the quarterfinals where they will play Nigeria, the second place team from Group C.

In the final group stage game, Senegal beat Cameroon 98-65.

Senegal (3-0) finishes as the top team from Group D and clinches their spot in the quarterfinals.

Senegal was the most dominant team in group play, outscoring their opponents by 100 and winning by an average margin of 33.3 points.

Cameroon (0-3) did not have a chance to advance due to their forfeited game.

Groups C and D standings:

Group C

1Cote d’Ivoire330100255205508568.36

Next elimination games from Group C: Nigeria vs. Uganda (Group D) and Kenya vs. South Sudan (Group D) on Aug. 31.

Group D

2South Sudan32166.7183190-76163.35

Next elimination games from Group D: South Sudan vs. Kenya (Group C) and Uganda vs. Nigeria (Group C) on Aug. 31.

With group play now over, the 12 teams advancing from group play in AfroBasket 2021 are the following:

  • Group A: Cape Verde (2-1), Rwanda (2-1), Angola (1-2); Eliminated – Congo DR (1-2)
  • Group B: Tunisia (3-0), Egypt (1-2), Guinea (1-2); Eliminated – Central African Republic (1-2)
  • Group C: Cote d’Ivoire (3-0), Nigeria (2-1), Kenya (1-2); Eliminated – Mali (0-3)
  • Group D: Senegal (3-0), South Sudan (2-1), Uganda (1-2); Eliminated – Cameroon (0-3)

Qualification to quarterfinal games

Aug. 30: Egypt vs. Angola (winner plays Senegal in quarterfinals)

Aug. 30: Rwanda vs. Guinea (winner plays Cote d’Ivoire in quarterfinals)

Aug. 31: Nigeria vs. Uganda (winner plays Cape Verde in quarterfinals)

Aug. 31: South Sudan vs. Kenya (winner plays Tunisia in quarterfinals)