MAPUTO (AfroBasket Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - Africa will have two new representatives at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women to be held in Turkey.
Both Mozambique and Angola secured their presences in Turkey after beating Cameroon and Senegal respectively in Saturday's Semi-finals in Maputo, Mozambique.
In the first Semi-final of the day, Leia Dongue remained scoreless for most of the first half, until she emerged in the game when home fans needed her most to become the Mozambican heroine. She had team-high 15 points as Mozambique secured their first ever presence at the FIBA World Championship for Women with a 61-57 win over Cameroon.
Cameroon dominated most of the game, forcing Mozambique trailing 37 minutes. Then, Dongue stepped up and reward the fans for their tireless support, making a layup to give the hosts of AfroBasket Women 2013 the crucial 53-52 lead.
From the moment they took over the game, Nasir Sale’s team never looked back, despite Cameroonian Ramses Lonlack’s effort of game-high 18 points and six steals.
In the second Semi-final of the game, Nacissela Mauricio buried a three-pointer with a minute remaining to give Angola a decisive 46-43 lead.
Catarina Camufal could have increased the lead but missed a pair of free-throws with 12 seconds remaining.
Anibal Moreira’s team toughed their defense on Astou Traore just to disrupt Africa’s most successful team.
Traore, the only Senegalese player to score more than 10 points could not avoid her team’s sloppy game, with 30 turnovers.
Mozambique and Angola, the only unbeaten teams in the tournament, with seven games, will take each other in the Final on Sunday at 18.30.
Earlier in the day, at 15.30, Senegal take on Cameroon in the third-place game.
In the battle for the 5th – 8th place, Upe Atosu became the only Nigerian player to score more than 10 points, as Nigeria beat Cote d’Ivoire
62-53, despite Ivoirian Kani Kouyate’s 18 points contribution.
Earlier in the day, Africa’s highest ranked team Mali increased their chances of finishing fifth as they beat Egypt 67-54.
Naignouma Coulibaly and Ouleymatou Coulibaly dominated the board with 12 rebounds apiece while Nassira Traore had a game-high 15 points.
In the 9th-12th place classification game, Ornela Livramento made sure Cape Verde Group A's defeat to Kenya in the Preliminary round would not happen again, thanks to a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds to lead the islanders to a 63-41 win.
In the same pool, Algeria beat Zimbabwe 74-59 with a stellar performance from Wahiba Aissani who led all scorers with 24 points and 11 rebounds.