28 July, 2019
03 August
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Mozambique edge Uganda to cruise into Semi-Finals

KIGALI (Rwanda) - Mozambique fought tooth and nail to overturn a double-digit deficit to book their slot in the Semi-Finals at the ongoing FIBA U16 Women's African Championship in the Rwandan capital. 

Uganda led 12-8 at the end of the first quarter and held a comfortable 28-16 lead at the half time break much to the distraught of the Mozambicans who looked out of their depth. 

Inspired by Paula Mabjaia and Vanessa Chivale, Mozambique came back with a whole different mentality and fighting spirit to net 25 points and limited Uganda to just 12 points and lead 41-40 at the end of the third period to lead for the first time in this game. 

The crowd was on their feet cheerleading and much to their amusement and admission, this was by far the most entertaining game of the competition. 

Uganda found their feet and led 51-44 halfway through but Mozambique were not about to give up at all and they kept pushing until the very last minute when captain Shannel Julio dropped a buzzer basket to tie the game at 60-up. 

Leonor do Alvar scored six very important points in overtime - three on the charity line and a three pointer that eventually made the difference for Mozambique to qualify for the Semi-Finals. 

Disappointment for Uganda who literally had this one in the bag with less than 15 seconds to the end of the game in regular time but basketball can teach you a life lesson or two. 

Uganda were inconsolable at the end of the game

Uganda centre Maria Najjuma's incredible double double 49 rebounds, 33 points and 13 blocks was not enough to help her side to victory but those numbers saw her get a standing ovation from the fans after the game. Sylvia Namuddu added 11 points and eight rebounds. 

Mabjaia scored a team 27 points, made nine steals and picked four rebounds while Vanessa Chivale and Alvar dropped 13 points apiece with the former adding 10 rebounds.

 This is the fourth consecutive time that Mozambique is qualifying for the Semi-Finals.

Meanwhile, the reigning champions Mali made light work of hosts Rwanda 112-32 to literally walk into the final four and continue on the right path of defending their title. 

Five Malian players were in double figures with Mariam Coulibaly scoring a cool 23 points while making three steals and picking three rebounds.

Badiaran Doumbia fully focused on the hoop

Mali head coach Oumarou Sidiya gave an opportunity to his fringe players who made the opportunity count. Djelika Tounkara dropped 17 while Maimouna Haidara and Badiaran Doumbia  each scored 14 points.

Magou Sy picked 11 rebounds and scored seven points with Mama Maiga dding 12 points.

Egypt also booked their place in the Semi-Finals following a convincing 88-41 win over Tanzania in a hard-fought victory for the North Africans.

Farida Youssef and Lojain Elfatairy posted 18 points each while captain Farida Mossad Jana Baraka added 12 apiece to inspire Egypt to a very important victory that ensures they still have a chance at victory. Mennatullah Elgharini picked an impressive 10 rebounds. 


Angola, who got a bye into the Semi-Finals, have now been joined by the defending winners Mali, Mozambique and Egypt.