ABIDJAN (AfroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Three teams from Group A reached the AfroBasket 2013 Semi-Finals with huge chances of securing the three places available for African teams for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
On Friday, Group A winners Cote d'Ivoire are to face Angola for the fourth time in AfroBasket competition since 1993 and are chasing their first win in that match-up.
In the other Semi-Final, Senegal face Egypt for the second time in the tournament following Senegal's buzzer-beater win in Group A's opening game.
Among the four semi-finalists, only Egypt have not featured in a FIBA World Championship in the past 23 years.
Both Cote d'Ivoire and Angola reached the Semi-Finals unbeaten in five games, and are set to offer the most exciting game of the semis, although the Preliminary Round game between Senegal against Egypt suggest this may be one of the most exhilarating games of the tournament.
Senegal head coach Cheikh Sarr has not doubts about his team's potential of succeeding in the tournament as they overcame one of their biggest obstacles with a 64-63 win over Nigeria.
"When Ivory Coast beat us (in Group A of the Preliminary round), most people said we were not going farther. Even my players felt nobody believed in us. I am saying what I am feeling. Now we are ready," he said minutes after his team stunned Nigeria.
"During our practices and games we always believed we could do it.
"We keep being hungry, but we have to be humble," Sarr warned.
Egypt's Sheriff Abdalla led his team in scoring with 18 points in the 74-73 Quarter-Final win over Cape Verde.
Despite Egypt entering the Semi-Finals as underdogs, they breath confidence.
"We lost the first three games in the very end of the game. No doubts, we deserve to be in the Semi-Finals because of our team effort," Abdalla told FIBA.com.
He went on to say that all their success in Abidjan "is dedicated for the Egyptian people because of the struggles we have been through.
"We want to qualify for the world cup to bring peace in Egypt," he added.
Cote d'Ivoire's forward Ismael Ndiaye has not missed an AfroBasket tournament since 2007 and has faced Angola on two occasions.
"They are a very good team, but at this point of the tournament we are as good," he said.
"We have the experience, talent, just like Angola do.
"The difference is we have our home fans, and they will be the X-factor for us.
"Our fans have been magnificent to us. They are doing what we need. They have not come to just to watch the game. They come to games to live it.
"The world cup is not in our minds yet. As our coach says, we have the Semi-Finals to play first, what comes after that is a plus."
Angola's Armando Costa is one of the few players at AfroBasket 2013 who has featured in four consecutive tournaments.
He says he knows what it takes to succeed in the Semi-Final games.
"Just stay focus, don't get affected by distractions. That is how we played in the Quarter-Final against Morocco."