|5||J. BAREA MORA*||29||5/17||29.4||4/12||33.3||1/5||20||8/8||100||0||2||2||7||0||2||1||0||19|
|7||C. ARROYO||Did not play|
|8||A. VASSALLO COLON*||26||3/11||27.3||2/4||50||1/7||14.3||4/5||80||2||6||8||0||2||1||0||0||11|
|11||R. SANCHEZ ROSA*||8||0/3||0||0/0||0||0/3||0||2/2||100||0||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||2|
|6||I. SOUMAHORO||Did not play|
|7||P. AMAGOU||Did not play|
|8||K. KONATE SORNAN*||29||4/8||50||2/5||40||2/3||66.7||1/1||100||0||0||0||1||5||0||1||0||11|
|10||I. N'DIAYE||Did not play|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
ANKARA (2010 FIBA World Championship) – Ivory Coast won their first game at the 2010 FIBA World Championship by beating Puerto Rico 88-79 but came three points shy of the winning margin they needed to qualify for the knockout stages.
Randoald Dessarzin’s men needed to win by 12 points to automatically qualify for the second round and, having fallen short of that, China will go on to Istanbul, regardless of the outcome and score in their game against hosts Turkey.
The Ivorians led 88-76 on Mohamed Kone’s dunk in the last minute but David Huertas hit a three-pointer in the dying seconds to shatter their hopes. Effectively, that basket booked China’s trip to Istanbul.
Puerto Rico could have secured their place in the last 16 outright with a win, but instead will now head home.
Ivory Coast got off to a good start and had their first double-digit lead of the game, 17-6, when Puerto Rico committed their fourth turnover and that led to Mouloukou Diabate connecting with Kinidinnin Konate for an alley-oop with 3:57 left in the first period.
Puerto Rico, who looked tired and sluggish, came back within 19-14 to start the second quarter thanks to some offense off the bench by David Huertas and Guillermo Diaz.
The Ivorians restored their double-figure advantage when Guy Edi hit a jumper and they went up by as many as 13, 29-16, as Brice Assie drilled a three-pointer.
Huertas then hit from beyond the arc but Mamadou Lamizana cancelled that out with a long-range effort of his own.
Trailing 32-21, Manolo Cintron’s side went on a 12-4 run capped by Daniel Santiago’s lay-up to get within 36-33 but Konate then hit a corner three at the buzzer to push Ivory Coast’s advantage back up to six, 39-33, going into the break.
Konate started the second half the way he finished it, hitting a long bomb and Ivory Coast were back up by 11, 48-37, when he completed a three-point play.
Angel Vassallo then scored five points in a row, cutting the deficit to 48-42 before Kone knocked down a three for 51-43.
Puerto Rico were within 55-53 when Nathan Peavy made a basket and free-throw but Edi and Kone hit from downtown to stretch the Elephants’ lead to 64-57. They were 13 of 26 from beyond the arc up until that point.
Barea made a pair of free-throws that cut the deficit to 64-59 heading into the final frame.
Huertas hit two three-pointers, the second one giving Puerto Rico their first and only lead of the game, 67-66, with 7:48 to go.
That was shortlived as Kone and Lamizana combined for eight points and a 76-70 advantage with 3:38 remaining.
Abouo then made a reverse lay-up in transition for 78-70 and his free-throws with 1:25 left made it 85-74.
Randoald Dessarzin (Ivory Coast head coach): “It’s difficult but this is basketball. It’s the best job in the world. I will remember the last seconds for the rest of my life. We have to take the experience. It’s a pity. The players made the effort to beat one of the best basketball teams in the world with serious talent. It’s a new start for Ivory Coast, a new cycle starting next year with the African Championship.”
“I will not be the coach anymore which also makes it part of the new cycle. We lost key players to injuries and Ivory Coast cannot have that happen.”
You can see the complete highlights of this game on FIBATV.Com.
Mohamed Kone (Ivory Coast centre): “We had to win by 12 points. We tried our best to win the game by that margin. It didn’t happen. This tournament as a whole was a great experience for us and we will try to use it to move forward.”
Omar Gonzalez (Puerto Rico assistant coach): “We started flat and lacked in intensity. We couldn’t match their intensity and that affected us in other areas of the game. It was a great win for Ivory Coast and a bad loss for us.”
Angel Vassallo (Puerto Rico guard): “Credit to Ivory Coast, they came in and won a game. They played as hard as they could and made big shots. We came out flat. We knew we had to win this game to go through but they were better than us today. They made big shots.”