"Senegal have some room for improvement," says Alkaly Ndour
DAKAR (Senegal) - Senegal finished top of Group B to qualify for the Final Round of the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 with a cumulative 5-1 record to their advantage, but Alkaly Mamodou Ndour insists it's not good enough.
The 1.92m (6ft 3in) point guard stated that the singular loss on the final day against former African champions Angola 82-51 meant that there was still so much for the team to do ahead of the Final Round.
"THIS DEFEAT IS ALSO GOOD BECAUSE IT SHOWS US THAT WE ARE NOT AT THE TOP. THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE."
- Alkaly Ndour
Though Ndour is one of the three youngsters on the Senegal roster, he is commonly referred to as the leader of the 'Lions' and believes that they ought not to have lost with such a margin considering that they had defeated Angola 66-51 in the November Window.
He went on saying: "It's a collective shipwreck. Nothing worked for us on that final day and we had no success on the shots. We couldn't stand up to everyone from Rwanda to the end, with world-class nations.
"We played tough matches against Kenya and Mozambique. Angola, which had been beaten the previous day, in addition to their loss against us in the first leg, came with a vengeful spirit and a lot of aggressiveness. But it should be remembered that the success was not there and it contaminated the whole team. But we will continue to work to be even better at AfroBasket."
Despite the loss, he describes the Qualifiers as a successful outing for his team but insists that they cannot afford to rest on their oars as he expects tougher competition in the Final Round.
"Overall it was a good competition. To have five out of six wins in this pool is remarkable. We give thanks to God. It's also a source of pride because it's a young team that we have, we are learning and we will grow.
"This defeat is also good because it shows us that we are not at the top. There is still work to be done. We always learn from defeats.
"Between Rwanda and Cameroon, it's the same tournament because it's the same group. If there are changes it is between two, three players. Otherwise, the group is united, the cohesion is there and we all help each other. On that day, we just had to lose this game, but overall we had good tournaments," he concluded.