BEIRA (FIBA U16 Women’s African Championship 2017) – Angola edged out Mozambique 64-57 to register victory in their opener at the FIBA U16 Women's African Championship on Sunday at Ferroviario da Beira Stadium.
However, the tables turned in the third quarter when the home side became complacent and made several turnovers that Angola capitalized on to establish a 10-point lead before entering the last period.
Experience and the fear to lose motivated Angola to victory despite facing the home side that was cheered on by hundreds of fans.
“We are really happy that we won this game because we are treating every game like a Final. We managed to create a lead in the third quarter and we did not look back,” said Angola assistant coach Irene Guerreiro.
Indeed, Massingue ultimately scored a game high 18 points, picked six defensive rebounds and made two steals but her efforts were not enough to help Mozambique to victory.
Angola's Cristina Lourenco and Conceicao Caetano scored 14 points apiece while Alexia Dizeko added 12 to ensure an important win.
This was Mozambique’s first loss bringing their ratio to 1-1 while Angola will be delighted that they have ticked their first box.
Meanwhile, Egypt registered their first win at the biennial tournament after edging a spirited Zimbabwe side 55-46 at the same venue.
The North Africans enjoyed an early 12-9 lead at the end of the first quarter but Zimbabwe maintained discipline in the second quarter to lead 23-22 at Half-Time.
Tadiwa Mabika’s 10 points and 9 rebounds at this point were the difference as she steered Clement Kufeketa’s side into the right direction.
However, Hamed Mohamed’s pounced on a dip in concentration to stretch an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter and despite a late charge from Zimbabwe, Egypt was on course to victory.
Egypt captain Nada Yasser said, “Today, we had to focus and make sure we won the game. We could not afford to lose again.
Her counterpart from Zimbabwe Thandeka Sibanda admitted that her side fell short but “the stronger team lost."
“We tend to fight hard at the beginning of the game but we fail to do the same when it counts which is till the end of the game. It is very unfortunate that we lost. We should have won.”
Zimbabwe are winless in two games but Sibanda is impressed with the spirit within her team and believes that they are still in charge of their destiny.