Guinea caused another big surprise on Monday, beating Rwanda 72-68 to qualify for the quarter-finals of FIBA AfroBasket 2021.
Two days after winning against Egypt – one of the heavyweights of continental basketball – in the last match of Group B, which led to a participation in the qualifying round for the quarter-finals, Guinea recovered from an 11-point delay to put an abrupt end to Rwanda’s journey.
No matter what happens next, Guinea has already had a fantastic tournament. She lost by 20 points (55-75) in their first confrontation four years ago in Tunisia.
Guinea landed in Kigali as the lowest ranked team in Africa (No.21), but they continue to arouse admiration for their selflessness.
Prince Ibeh and Kenneth Gasana – the only Rwandans with 10 or more points – combined for 38 points in the hosts’ worst performance since the start of the competition.
Even though the match saw fifteen leadership changes, Rwanda seemed to have control of the situation, but Guinea refused to give up.
Mohamed Queta played the savior off the bench to avoid an elimination that seemed imminent. He scored 7 of his 13 points in the last four minutes, adding 7 rebounds, enough to propel Guinea to one of their best victories in the continental tournament.
Thanks to this success, Guinea reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 1962, when it took 5th place in the inaugural edition in Cairo (Egypt).
Guinea will challenge Côte d’Ivoire in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
In the first meeting of the day, between two former African champions, Angola was stronger than Egypt (70-62) to invite themselves to the quarter-finals for the 21st time since 1980.
Former FIBA AfroBasket MVP Carlos Morais scored 12 of his 16 long distance points, Gerson ‘Lukeny’ Goncalves scored 23 points and rising star Gilson Bango imposed his power under the baskets by capturing 8 rebounds.
Angola will face Wednesday against Senegal, a lifelong rival.