AfroBasket 2013: Day 1 of Quarterfinals compete

AfroBasket 2013

The top half of the AfroBasket 2013 quarterfinals are now set with Day 1 of 2 in the Round of 16 completed. There were no surprises at the end of Day one, with only one contest finishing inside a 30-point victory as Morocco pulled away from Algeria in the fourth quarter to earn a seat in the quarters with an 86:81 win. The other three games were major blowouts, ranging from the closest game having a 33-point margin and the largest topping out at 46-points.

Cameroon put together three big quarters in their win over Mozambique to earn a spot in the next round with a 75:42 win. Host club Cote d’Ivoire remained unbeaten in the tournament with a 100:60 beating of first-time AfroBasket participant, Burkina Faso. Angola also stayed undefeated with a big win over Mail, 82:36.

The top-half of the quarterfinal draw will pit the Ivory Coast against Cameroon, and Angola will square off against Morocco. Both matches will take place on Wednesday, 28 August.

Cote d’Ivoire – Burkina Faso, 100:60
The host club left no doubts that they were going to be moving on and contending for a trip to the 2014 FIBA World Cup as they steamrolled over Burkina Faso, 100:60. The win sets the Ivory Coast up for a contest against Cameroon in the quarters on Wednesday. For Burkina Faso, their first trip to the AfroBasket was most likely far from enjoyable, but getting to compete for the first time was no doubt memorable.

Burkina Faso stayed with the locals for the first quarter and only trailed 19:15 after the first frame. In the second, things got rough for the guests as Cote d’Ivoire turned their game up a notch and outscored their opponents 26:13 to take a 45:28 advantage into the lockerroom at the break.

In the second half the pressure stayed on Burkina Fasa as the home club outscored them 55:32, to wrap up the score 100:60, sending Cote d’Ivoire on to the next round.

Mohamed Kone was game-high for Cote d’Ivoire with a 20P/10R double-double. Souleyman Diabate added 16 to the win. Joris Bado dropped 14 points for Burkina Faso and Ali Kader Tapsoba added 13.

Angola – Mali, 82:36
Angola picked up their ticket to the quarters with a substantial win over Mali, 82:36.

The contest opened with Angola running off the first 14 points of the game, then getting up 20:2 with just over three minutes to play. They weren’t finished there though, as they outscored Mali 9:3 over the last three minutes to close out the first 10 with a 29:5 advantage. The second quarter gave Angola time to rest their starters, as well as giving Mali an opportunity to put some points on the board. At the end of the half Angola still held a 24-point lead after a 10-all second quarter.

The second half was more at-will scoring for Angola, outscoring Mali 33:21 to close out the contest with an 82:36 victory.

Angola’s Carlos Almeida and Mali’s Modibo Niakate shared game-high scoring honors after both tallied 14 points on the night.

Cameroon – Mozambique, 75:42
Cameroon played some solid defense and put the ball in the hole in their quest for a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

The first frame looked like it was going to be a Mozambique runaway after they got up 10:2 after the first two minutes of play. Cameroon got things on track and ran off nine unanswered to take the lead 11:10. As the horn sounded at the end of the first, the score was knotted up at 14.

Cameroon hit the first six of the second, followed by a pair of split pairs of singles by Mozambique, which was then followed by 14 unanswered by Cameroon. By the time Mozambique hit the cords again they had fallen behind 34:18 with a minute left in the half. When they walked off the court for the mid-game break, Cameroon led 35:22.

The first eight of the second half would go to Cameroon, giving them a 21-point lead, 43:22. That lead just grew throughout the third, peaking at 29, 50:31.

A 13-point run through the heart of the fourth proved the Cameroon wasn’t going to leave anything to chance and that they were in Cote d’Ivoire to earn a trip to Spain for the 2014 World Cup. The final at the end was a 32-point win, 75:42.

Christian Bayang and Gaston Essengue led Cameroon with 13 points each, while Custodio Muchate dropped in 12 for Mozambique as their only player to hit double figures.

Cameroon will play the host club from the Ivory Coast on Wednesday in their semifinal match-up.

Morocco – Algeria, 86:81
Morocco needed an extra 5 to put away Algeria and earn their spot in the quarterfinals. It also took a Moroccan triple with 26 seconds to play to knot the score at 72, then a missed shot in the paint with a second to play on the Algerian end preserved the tie, sending the contest into OT.

Neither club got much of an advantage in the first frame with the largest margin being four points early on. By the end of the first 10 they had played to a 14:12 lead by Morocco. Late in the second quarter the Moroccans ran off eight unanswered to put together their biggest advantage thus far at 31:22 with a minute to play in the half. Algeria closed out the first 20 with the last four points, cutting Morocco’s lead to five, sending the clubs to their break with a 31:26 score.

Morocco hit the floor firing, scoring the first seven points to build a 12-point lead, 38:26, with just two minutes played in the new half. Algeria countered with a 12:2 run that tied the contest at 44 with three minutes left in the third. They battled over the last two minutes of the quarter, exchanging the lead four times, with two ties, with Algeria coming out on top, 50:49, heading into the fourth quarter.

For the first seven minutes of the final frame the two clubs trading the lead numerous times, with neither team getting up by more than four. Mohamed Harat scored 10 of his game-high 25 for Algeria in the fourth quarter. Algeria ran off seven unanswered to get up 72:65 with 1:43 to play. Morocco then scored four points in 16 seconds to put them down three, 72:69, with 1:23 left. After a series of missed shots and a turnover, Mustapha Khalfi drained a triple with 26 seconds to play for his 18th point of the contest and knotting the score at 72. Algeria’s Mehdi Cheriet missed two shots in the paint in the final minute, including a shot at the buzzer, blowing opportunities to put the game away.

Harat found himself on the bench with his fifth foul with two minutes to play in the extra frame and 25 points in his pocket. The teams played to a 78:77 Morocco advantage, which was added to by four straight from Morocco to give them an 82:77 lead with 22 seconds to play. Algeria got two free throws and a bucket inside by Cheriet, who scored and picked up his fifth foul in an attempt to get Morocco to the line. Idrissi hit both charity tosses to ice the game at 86:81, sending Morocco to the quarters to face Angola.

Khalfi paced Morocco with 24 points, followed by Abdelhakim Zoutia’s 17, and Idrissi’s 15P/13R double-double. Algeria was led by Harat’s 25P/10R double-double, and Touati’s 18P/12R double-double.

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