Rwanda’s AfroCAN struggles in Luanda went from bad to worse as Group C rivals Morocco came from behind to beat them 59-58 on Sunday and take home the result with just one point separating the two teams.
In a tightly contested game, Rwanda, who had lost their opening game 61-67 to Tunisia, started the game brightly looking to get back to winning ways.
The likes of Ntore Habimana and Dieudonne Ndizeye, put up brilliant performances that saw Rwanda win the first quarter 20-11 before the pair drew level in the second on 21-21 to go into half-time with a 41-32 lead.
The Moroccans, however, got back to life in the second half, winning the third quarter convincingly 14-7, as their small forward Mohamed Choua caused no small damage to the Rwandan team with his scoring prowess, scoring 16 points in the game, while his team mate Kevin Bruno Franceschi contributed 11.
Rwanda tried hard to keep the game in their own hands but the Moroccans’ comeback persisted as they continued to control the game both defensively and offensively.
A couple of mistakes including a slip by Nshobozwabyosenumukiza in the third quarter as well as some fouls by Habimana favored Morocco to maintain possession of the ball and increased their chances to score.
Inside the last two minutes of the game, the Moroccans had a slight 59-56 lead, which Rwanda reduced by two points, though this did not change the final result of the game.
Rwanda is now at the bottom of Group C, having lost both games it has played so far. The team’s first game was against Tunisia on Saturday. The Tunisians won it 67-61.
Teams are divided into four groups of three teams each. The teams that finish in the first places of Groups A, B, C and D qualify directly to the Quarter-Finals.
The teams that finish in second and third places of each group will have a second chance to remain in competition by playing the Qualification Round to the Quarter-Finals, where the losing teams will be eliminated.
The four semi-finalists qualify automatically to the 2027 FIBA AfroCAN while the losing teams of the Quarter-Finals will compete for the Fifth to Eight-Place in the Classification Round.
Source: The New Times