Kenya's historic win, Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal through to Quarter-Finals
KIGALI (Rwanda) - On the day that Kenya registered their first win at AfroBasket in almost three decades, two other teams advanced to the Quarter-Finals of the ongoing 16-nation tournament in Kigali, Rwanda.
Cote d'Ivoire outlasted Nigeria 77-68 in Sunday's second game, and as a result, the 'Elephants' won Group C with a 3-0 mark and secured the group's automatic ticket to the Last Eight.
Nigeria, on the other hand, dropped to 2-1 to finish second, and will take on Uganda on Tuesday in the Qualification Round to the Quarter-Finals.
Cote d'Ivoire's Nisre Mimi Zouzoua was superb from beyond the arc after sinking 4-of-4 en route to a game-high 17 points off the bench; Matt Costello contributed 12 points and six rebounds, and 41-year-old Stephane Konate added 12 points in the wining cause.
In Sunday's last game, Senegal closed their Group D campaign undefeated in three games after trouncing short-handed Cameroon 98-65.
Wit the win, Senegal who average a tournament-high 98.3 points per game and have defeated their three opponents - Cameroon, South Sudan and Uganda - by a winning margin of 33 points per game - qualified to the Quarter-Finals while Cameroon registered their second straight on-court defeat and have been eliminated with a 0-3 record (2 participation points).
Cameroon returned home winless (0-3) for the first time in their AfroBasket history
South Sudan registered their first-ever win at AfroBasket after beating Uganda 88-86.
Uganda will face Nigeria in an attempt to advance to the Quarter-Finals on Tuesday while South Sudan will go up against Kenya.
By beating Mali 72-66 in their last Group C encounter, Kenya erased a 28-year drought without a win at AfroBasket, a victory that ensured Kenya a place in the do-or-die clash with neighbours South Sudan on Tuesday.
Kenya's Tylor Ongwae gave his all in 38:57 minutes on the floor to lead his national team in the historic win as he contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists - his first double-double at AfroBasket 2021.
Griffin Ligare, the other Kenyan to score in double digits, had a 5-of-13 shooting go with 12 points and eight rebounds.
"As an individual I feel great. We have been playing good, we just didn't know how to finish it," the 2.00m (6ft 7in) forward told FIBA.basketball.
After two defeats in Group C, Ongwae added: "Now, it looks like we are getting our rhythm offensively. As the tournament goes on our offence will start clicking and we are going to be able to compete with the other teams."
Before finding out that Kenya would face Uganda, Ongwae pointed out that "It's going to be an East African affair, it really doesn't matter which team we meet. Both teams are good. We just want to sit and prepare for them. Defensively we are among the best defensive teams in the tournament, but we need to up our offensive."