DAKAR (FIBA AfroBasket 2017) - The FIBA Africa Zone 2 qualifier will resume on Friday in Dakar with four teams looking to secure two tickets for the FIBA AfroBasket 2017.
Senegal aren't panicking by their two defeats in three games in last week's qualifiers while Cape Verde, Guinea and Mali remain upbeat about their chances of reaching the Final Round in Congo-Brazzaville in August (19-30).
After conceding an 82-37 defeat to Mali last week, which has become one of the heaviest defeats in their history against an African opponent, Senegal made adjustments, and Maleye Ndoye is urging his teammates to remain together and help the team make it to FIBA Africa's biggest basketball event.
Stephane Dumas, who served as head coach in Bamako last week, has been replaced by Dame Diouf.
And Ndoye and Xane D'Almeida have finally joined the team looking to spark the former African champions for the remainder of the qualifier.
"We need to stay together and support each other," Ndoye said. The only way to overcome the 1-2 deficit, the 36-year-old forward noted, is "a question of mentality. If we play together and give hundred percent, we can do it. We must remain positive."
Against all the odds, Guinea - a team that last featured at FIBA AfroBasket in 1985 - lead the qualifier with a 2-1 record. They are followed by Mali (2-1) and Cape Verde (1-2) while Senegal rank last with one victory in three games.
Senegal will open the second leg of the qualifier facing Guinea on Friday while Cape Verde will go up against Mali early in the day.
The teams that finish in the top two will advance to FIBA AfroBasket 2017, joining African champions Nigeria, hosts Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Uganda and Mozambique. Five more teams will qualify while two other places will be allocated via a wild card process.