20 February, 2023
03 July
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Cote d'Ivoire join Group A of the 2023 AfroCan after a 3-0 in the Qualifiers, Benin upset Guinea

 ABIDJAN (Cote d'Ivoire) – Cote d'Ivoire on Sunday became the latest nation to qualify for the 2023 FIBA AfroCan after beating Nigeria 74-65.

With the win, the Ivorians complete Group A of the AfroCan alongside Kenya and Gabon. 

The 12-nation 2023 FIBA AfroCan will be held in the Angolan capital city of Luanda between July 8-16.

It was a nail-biting game between two teams hoping to return to the AfroCan for the second straight time, but only the 'Elephants' are joining the eagerly-awaited Luanda showpiece. 

The game - which had the spectators inside the Palais des Sports Treichville on the edge of their seats while cheering on the home side - couldn't have been more interesting as Nigeria took the fight to their opponents.

Cote d'Ivoire closed the opening quarter with a narrow 19-17 lead, but trailed 19-17 in the second. On resumption of the third quarter, the home team stepped on the pedal, winning 20-15 and 18-14 to close the game.

Cote d'Ivoire's Lionel Kouadio finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists to boost his side while Ulrich Mohamed Kra added 14 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

After the game, Kouadio said: "We were surprised but knew that Nigeria would come out fighting because they needed victory against us. It wasn't an easy game and we came out to fight this night to ensure this win. Looking forward to Angola, we hope to fight the same way and aim for the trophy."

On the Nigeria side, it was Chinedu Martins Chimbuo who had a double-double contribution, recording 15 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists. However, it was not enough to stop Cote d'Ivoire from winning their third straight game in front of their home fans.


Earlier in the day, Benin made a bold statement with an 85-67 win over Guinea to register their only victory in three games. 

Benin had lost its first two games against Cote d'Ivoire 74-59 and Nigeria 78-51respectively came out determined to change the narrative and swing a victory on the last day.

Man of the match for Benin was Soulemane Chabi Yo who recorded a double-double of 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead the floor and ensured victory for his side. He was followed by Monra Salim Kora Sero who scored 13 points.

Benin Captain, Romaric Quenum said his team came out the more determined side. "Having suffered two defeats, we needed to take something back home. After the game against Nigeria, we told ourselves that we had a good team and can't lose all. We had come together and to showcase the level of our country’s basketball. We worked as a team and we eventually won."

Guinea's forward Mambourou Mara did not disappoint his country as he contributed 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals while Rene Soufiane added 12 points, but their effort were too little to subdue the rampaging Benin side.

The Ivorians closed the regional qualifier with a perfect 3-0 record thanks to wins over Benin, Guinea and Nigeria.