BAMAKO (FIBA U18 African Championship 2018) – This year’s FIBA U18 African Championship couldn’t be any more exciting than that.
Three days into the competition in Bamako, Mali, and we already had a bit of everything, from upsets to surprising wins, here’s a recap of Day 3.
Angola survive Rwanda scare (Group B)
Credit to Angola for claiming their first win in the tournament, and, as a result, improved their mark to 1-1. The reigning champions came to Bamako knowing they were the team to beat.
On Sunday, they moved the ball relatively better than they did in Saturday’s defeat to Senegal
However, the highlight of the game was clearly Rwanda’s tenacity and determination to remind everyone that they can’t be taken lightly.
Elias Ngoga, one of the top performers in the tournament so far, hit a three-pointer with 31 seconds left to cut the deficit to 79-74.
As Angola tried to regain control of the game, point guard Pascoal Konde turned the ball over.
Rwanda’s Emile Kazeneza, as cool as ice, received an inbound pass to hit yet another three-pointer and leave the Angolans two points up 79-77 with 19 seconds left.
Eventually, the reigning champions prevailed 80-79.
Libya claim first-ever win at U18 Championship (Group A)
Libya outscored Uganda 11-0 in the last four minutes of the game to secure their first-ever win in the history of the U18 African Championship. Much of the North Africans’ 60-57 win came on the back of a suffocating defense that disrupted Uganda’s attempts to score.
While Libya improved their mark to 1-1, Uganda fell 0-2.
DR Congo through to Quarter-Finals
Remember this name, Pierre Kasereka
— DR Congo Basketball (@LeopardsBasket) August 26, 2018
Kasereka has just put in yet another stellar performance, finishing with a tournament-high 29 points as the Congolese dispatched Guinea 84-74 to stay perfect in Group A.
Although Guinea led 39-29 at the break, Kasereka and Co left it for later to improve their winning streak to 3-0, and move on to the Quarter-Finals.
Senegal stay perfect (Group B)
Less than 24 hours of stunning Angola in the opener of Group B, title contender Senegal did it again, outscoring Algeria 70-50.
Biram Faye came up with a strong display, finishing with an impressive 14 points and a tournament-high 20 rebounds.
Hosts stay perfect
Hosts Mali demolished title contender Egypt, to advance to the Quarter-Finals. They led the final game of the day from start to finish, reminding everyone they are on a mission to secure one of the two tickets available for African teams for next year’s FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup.