Morocco outlast Egypt to reach the Semi-Finals for the first time in more than three decades
TUNIS (FIBA AfroBasket 2017) - Morocco on Thursday became the first team to reach the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 Semi-Finals thanks to 66-62 victory over Egypt.
Although Morocco guard Ali Lahrich, who has been sensational throughout the tournament, had a game to forget, head coach Said El Bouzidi smartly called up veteran Zakaria El Masbahi to lead proceeding.
The 38-year guard converted three of his five three-pointers attempts to finish with a team-high 17 points, while Egypt shooting guard Ibrahim El Gammal led all scorers with 22 points.
With the win, Morocco have reached the last four of the competition for the first time since 1980 when they hosted and claimed a Third-Place in the competition.
"This is a win for our people back home," said Soufiane Kourodu few minutes after the historic win.
"We came to this tournament facing several adversities, but our team spirit and desire to win allowed us to get the win," he said.
Meanwhile, Egypt forward Youssef Aboushousha paid tribute to Morocco.
"They were the better team today. We have played our very best, but they were able to make too many three-pointers."
Morocco will face the winner of the Tunisia vs DR Congo tie in Friday’s Semi-Finals.