Zouita comes up big as Morocco qualify for AfroBasket
SALE (AfroBasket 2015) - Abdelhakim Zouita showed why he is one of Morocco's most prolific scorers by going for 17 points to help them beat Algeria 84-71 and secure the only FIBA Africa Zone 1 place on offer for AfroBasket 2015.
Mohamed Harat had a game-high 20 points to go with seven rebounds for the visiting team but it wasn't enough. With the Algerian bench contributing 20 points, Harat was left frustrated before fouling out of the game.
There was no way Morocco would miss out on qualifying for this summer’s edition of FIBA Africa's flagship event, taking place in Tunisia from 19 to 30 August.
Harat, who plays for Moroccan side FUS Rabat, tried his best throughout, but Algeria trailed 45-31 at halftime and there was to ne no miracle comeback.
Abderrahim Najah added 16 points for the hosts and Soufian Kourodu provided the offensive spark needed with a team-high 19 points and eight rebounds. Veteran point guard Mustapha Khalfi hit three three-pointers as part of a 14-point haul.
Last month, Algeria beat Morocco 81-80 on home soil and improved their chances of qualifying for AfroBasket 2015 with a comprehensive 88-63 defeat of Libya to take command of the elimination pool.
Libya, who were 0-2 entering the elimination, pulled out the return-round of the qualifier.
With the win, Morocco becomes the seventh national team to qualify for the AfroBasket, joining hosts Tunisia, reigning champions Angola, Egypt, Uganda, Cote d'Ivoire and Cape Verde.
Algeria will look to receive a wild card to participate in the tournament in Tunisia.