Photo: FIBA

The first two spots in the semifinals of AfroBasket 2021 were filled today by Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire.

In the first game, Senegal took down Angola in a close contest 79-74.

This was Senegal’s first close game of the tournament after beating their previous three opponents by a combined 100 points.

Senegal was led by 22-year-old rising star Brancou Badio (14 points, five assists) and NBA center Gorgui Dieng (13 points, 15 rebounds).

Angola veteran Carlos Morais kept his team in the game, scoring 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field and 6-of-11 from three-point.

Angola finishes the tournament 2-3, while Senegal (4-0) will now match up against Cote d’Ivoire, another undefeated team who is 4-0, in the semifinals on Sept. 4.

In the final game of the day, Cote d’Ivoire routed Guinea 98-50.

Guinea was under constant pressure throughout the game, turning the ball over 34 times.

Cote d’Ivoire had five players score in double figures with Matt Costello (14 points), Stephane Konate (14 points), Nisre Zouzoua (13 points), Vafessa Fofana (12 points) and Lionel Kouadio (11 points).

Guinea’s cinderella story in the AfroBasket came to an end, but not before they made history.

The quarterfinal round is the farthest that Guinea has advanced at an AfroBasket and their most-ever wins (two; wins over Egypt and Rwanda) at an AfroBasket as well.

Despite coming into the tournament as the lowest-ranked team in the field at No. 118 overall and No. 21 in Africa, Guinea will surely move up when the next rankings are released.

Cote d’Ivoire (4-0) will take on fellow undefeated team Senegal (4-0) in a highly-anticipated matchup in the semifinals on Sept. 4.

Guinea finishes the tournament 2-3.