Following the postponement of the Angolan men’s team game last night due to the power outage from the severe heat in Durban, they looked refreshed as they came out for the first game on day four at the 2017 Africa World Championship Qualifiers. They stormed out to a 24-2 lead in the first quarter against the less experienced Kenyan team. Kenya struggled to convert their opportunities, shooting at 19% from the field, which allowed Angola to take advantage and win the other three quarters 17-6, 25-9 and 21-5 to take their first win of the tournament, 87-22. Statistics
Kenya’s top scorer was again Odiyo Henry Caleb Otieno hitting a high of 18 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. For Angola, Kananito Alexandre amassed 33 points and 11 rebounds.
The second game of the day saw Zimbabwe men against the undefeated Algerian team. Zimbabwe weren’t intimated by the Algerian team and both teams exchanged baskets in the early stages, and it wasn’t until the end of the first quarter that Algeria went on a 12-0 run to give themselves some breathing space with a 10-point lead, 19-9. Despite Zimbabwe’s best efforts to rattle the Algerians, they kept their composure and controlled the second quarter, winning it 19-4 to widen the gap and take a 25-point lead into the half-time break. Zimbabwe’s stamina started to waiver in the second half, and losing two key players to foul trouble early in the fourth allowed Algeria to close out the game with quarter scores of 22-6 and 19-4 to win, 79-23. Algeria remain top of the men’s pool with five wins. Statistics
Four players reached double figures for Algeria, Bilel Ayache (14 points), Nabil Tabi (13 points), Abdennour Benredouane (12 points) and Hakim Badache (10 points). Daniel Nyuke led the scoring for Zimbabwe with 12 points, followed closely by captain Taona Ziki with 11 points.
Next on court saw the women’s game between the same sides, Algeria and Zimbabwe. The match proved very similar. Despite a gutsy fight at the beginning of the game from the Zimbabwean’s, who defended well in the opening quarter and kept the Algerians to just a five-point lead, 9-4, Algeria proved too strong in the remaining three quarters, demonstrating their experience and depth within the team to win 23-2, 19-0, 13-0 to finish with a 64-6 win. Statistics
Algeria’s Nourhane Boublal came off the bench to top score with 21 points, whilst Naoual Khedir fell just short of making a triple-double with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists. Zimbabwe’s Moline Muza scored all six points for them.
Angola were then back on court for the second time of the day, this time against Morocco. This proved to be a tougher match-up for Angola than their earlier game, as Morocco pushed out to a 26-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. Angola were more competitive in the second quarter keeping the score closer, although Morocco still took a 20-point lead into the second half, 39-19. This gap widened in the third quarter to 58-28, but Angola finished well by drawing the last quarter 8-8; the game ending 66-36 to Morocco.
Egypt kept up their ambition for a semi-final place with an impressive display against Kenya, as they comfortably swept aside their opponents with quarter scores of 31-5, 18-6, 27-2, and 19-3 to win 95-16. This leaves Egypt and Morocco with an identical record of three wins and one loss, placing the teams in second and third respectively, going into the final day of group games tomorrow.
The final game of the day saw hosts South Africa men’s team take on Zimbabwe in a fight for fourth place in the current standings. A slow start from Zimbabwe allowed South Africa to push out to an 8-0 lead, however, the Zimbabwean’s pulled it back to trail by just five at the end of the quarter 14-9. Zimbabwe put in a valiant effort to keep in touching distance with South Africa, but too many turnovers proved costly as South Africa capitalised scoring 19 points off the back of these, to give them a comfortable victory, 61-36. Statistics
Top scorers for South Africa were Lwando Mamfengu with 11 points and Shane Williams with 9 points. The game also marked South Africa’s Captain Cecil Dumond 100th cap, a remarkable achievement.
Zimbabwe’s Daniel Nyuke and Fredrick Ganyaupfu both secured double-doubles with 19 points and 16 rebounds, and 11 points and 11 rebounds, respectively.
Tomorrow will see the final games of the group stages with semi-final placings still up for grabs.