Record AfroBasket winners Angola started the 2021 edition on a losing note, suffering a 77-71 defeat to a resilient Cape Verde side in Overtime.
Cape Verde went toe-to-toe with the continental powerhouse right from tip-off to the final horn of regulation before edging Angola in the extra five minutes.
The first quarter was tied at 14 but the 11-time champions edged the second by 8 points with fans favourite Childe Dundao leading Angola through the second quarter to lead 34-26 at the break.
However, Ivan Almedia, Joel Almeida and Fidel Mendonça slowly but surely chipped away into Angola’s lead and by mid-fourth quarter, it was just a 3-point game.
Big man Walter Tavares who cleaned the glass all night tied the game for Cape Verde at 66 with a dunk and damaged the backboard in the process with just a minute to play.
After replacing the hoop, neither side converted their shots, and the game headed for overtime.
While Angola missed their first four shots in overtime, Cape Verde hit two (both 3s) of their first four shots to start the extra period and the writing was on the wall.
Tavares scored 20points, pulled down 18 rebounds, blocked 6 shots, and made 3 steals to lead Cape Verde. Mendonca contributed 14 points, Joel Almeida had 10 points while Ivan Almeida dished out 7 assists to go with 11 points and 7 boards. Jeffrey Nunes Xavier contributed 12 points (5 in overtime), 7 rebounds, and made 4 assists.
Vet Carlos Morais scored 21 points in a losing effort for Angola and rising center Jilson Bango added 13 points to go with 10 rebounds.
The sides return to action on Thursday, August 26. Cape Verde plays DRC at 4:00 pm (EAT) while record champions Angola will look to bounce back when they take on hosts Rwanda at 7:00 pm (EAT).