Follow FIBA on Facebook
South Soudan seal second straight win, Burundi off to perfect start
NAIROBI(Kenya) - Hosts Kenya and South Sudan claimed second win while Burundi beat Somalia in their first game as FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Group D Pre-qualifiers entered day two at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
Tanzania 59 vs Kenya 95
Tanzania dressed only six players for this opening fixture and found it rough from the start as Kenya raced to a 20-0 first quarter cushion and never looked back.
The losers received a huge applause when Ally Mohammed finally connected for their opening basket as soon as the second quarter started. They then stringed some moves together but still trailed 24-18 as the stanza ended.
They Tanzanians then put up a much better show in second half as they closed in 28-23 in the third and 23-18 in the deciding quarter.
"We came here with seven players but one was not cleared and the others who were to join us here latter are now not coming at all. We will play the whole tournament with half of the team, that is the predicament we are in but we will soldier on, " head coach Alfred Ngalaliji told FIBA.basketball
Somalia 86 vs Burundi 106
Burundi dismissed Somalia 106-86 in their first match of the championship. They did not get their rhythm in the opening quarter but still did well to take a close 20-15 lead. In the second quarter, they pushed that margin to doubled digit of 26-16.
The scores stood at 32-26 in the third quarter in favour of Burundi as Somalia roared on by their lively fans, turned the tables in the last quarter by a close 29-28 advantage but it was not enough to salvage the game.
"WE DID NOT GET OFF WELL IN THE FIRST QUARTER AND OUR DEFENSE ALSO WAS WORRYING. BUT I AM HAPPY THAT THE TACTICAL CHANGES I MADE HELPED US REGROUP AND PULL AWAY IN THE LAST HALF."
Leading the Burundi charge was Jean Hakizimana who scored 27 points, so far the highest haul in the tournament. He also pulled down 5 rebounds. Giubert Nijimbere buried 23 points and hauled 8 rebounds. They dominated the paint 80-34 and the fast breaks 38-8.
"We did not get off well in the first quarter and our defense also was worrying. but I am happy that the tactical changes I made helped us regroup and pull away in the last half," Burundian head coach Olivier Ndayiragize explained after the game,
Somalia's Yusuf Qaafaw drained 26 points with Ahmed Guled contributing 15 points and 6 assists in their losing cause.
South Sudan 111 vs Eritrea 57
Another dominant display from South Sudan saw them hammer Eritrea 111-57 in their second game. They became the first team to post second century score in two days after walloping Somalia 112-79 in their opener the previous day.
Bol Bak led six South Sudanese in double figures. He registered 20 points and 7 assists while Nyang Wek hit 15, Emmanuel Malon and Makuel Duondak made 14 each while Dominik Philip and Deng Mayot netted 12 apiece.
South Sudan won the battle in the paint outscoring Somalia 62-32 while also having a 68-11 contribution from the bench players.
"WE WILL TAKE ONE GAME AT A TIME AND SEE HOW IT GOES, BESIDES WE HAVE YET TO SEE ALL TEAM PLAY."
Aron Zakarias managed 22 points while Israel Mulugeta contributed 11 and had 3 assists for the losers.
Eritrea coach Testalem Zekarias noted, "They are speedy and rebound well. Despite the fact that I made some technical changes to counter them, we still found it hard to cope. We are inexperienced but we are leaning fast."
Despite being the only side to register back to back century scores, South Sudan head coach Ajou Deng was modest when asked if he sees his team as among the tournament favourites. He says, "We will take one game at a time and see how it goes, besides we have yet to see all team play."
Host Kenya and South Sudan are on two wins while Burundi has one. Somalia, Eritrea and Tanzania have yet to win any matches in the competition.