Senegal became the first side to advance to the semifinals of the FIBA AfroBasket 2021.
Boniface Ndong’s charges held on to beat Angola who turned on the heat down the stretch, 79-74, on Wednesday.
Angola who limped into the knockouts played their best game by far with shooting guard Carlos Morais dropping 28 points but the 11-time champions came short after leveling the game at 74.
After a tight start, the game opened up with Marais draining three 3-pointers in succession and Angola won the opening period 22-17.
Senegal started to impose their will and might on the game in the second quarter, outscoring Angola 27-11 to open up a double-digit lead.
However, the experience within the Angola roster came to the fore in the second half with the side slowly but surely chipping away. By the end of the third quarter, they were just six points (55-66) off.
Bamba Diallo opened the last quarter with a couple of shots from downtown but Morais never let Senegal pull away hitting big shot after big shot. Gerson Goncalves (13 points) and Jilson Bango (11 points and 10 rebounds) complemented the star guard’s fightback with the latter levelling the game at 74 with 1:25 to play.
Ibrahima Faye (13 points) made a layup and Brancou Badio (14 points) followed it with a foul shot to make it a 3-point game after an unsportsmanlike foul was called on Morais. The guard was sent to the line again hitting both throws to ice the game.
Gorgui Dieng (13 points and 15 rebounds), and Mamadou Faye (10 points) contributed to Senegal’s success.