Wild jubilation in Praia as Cape Verde stun Algeria
PRAIA (Cape Verde) - FIBA U16 African Championship 2019 hosts and debutants Cape Verde sent their fans into wild jubilation at the Pavilhão Deportivo Vavá Duarte gymnasium.
The islanders fought back in the third quarter to hand Algeria a 53-48 loss in their Group A tie on Friday night.
Algeria took an early lead in the first six minutes of the first quarter 11-2 but the Cape Verdean were able to pull back to end the first period by 17-10 in Algerian advantage. The second quarter was no difference as Algeria who finished in third place two years ago maintained the momentum for an eight points advantage (33-25) going into the halftime break.
"I MUST COMMEND MY PLAYERS RESILIENT AND DETERMINATION TO TAKE THE GAME BEYOND ALGERIA ESPECIALLY IN THE SECOND HALF."
Cape Verde however gained one point to end the third quarter at 45-38 points but limited the Algerian to recording just three points in the fourth quarter as they raced to a 15-3 points last period win for 53-48 points to the delight of their fans.
Though the victory delighted the hosts, head coach Danielson Miranda says they will thread softly so as not to get carried.
Miranda admitted that his side can not lay claim to be one of the title favourite but believed anything could happen if they made it out Group A which comprises two former champion Egypt and Angola with Nigeria and Algeria completing the five nation group.
"I must commend my players resilient and determination to take the game beyond Algeria especially in the second half. We are not saying we are one of the favourite for the title or the second spot for the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2020, but anything could happen if we eventually made it out of the group," he explained.
Cape Verde duo of Davide Buccilli and Hugo Silva accounted for 34 points of the team total scoring 17 points apiece while Diogo Monteiro added 11 points.
In the other game of the day defending champion Mali were lucky against hard fighting Tunisia to post a 61-57 win in their Group B opener in a high profile match-up.
Action continue on Saturday with two games, Cote d'Ivoire will battle Guinea in Group B at 17:15 while Nigeria will take on three-time record champion Egypt at 19:30 local time.