COTONOU (FIBA AfroBasket 2017) – The qualification battle for Burkina Faso for the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 sole ticket in group C practically came to an end following the overwhelming 71-48 loss to Cote d’Ivoire in their second game of the first leg qualifying game last night.
The Ivorian side from the start till the end of the game was business like and left nothing to chance for the Burkina Faso side to try their luck and taking all four quarters at 08-12, 18-19, 15-22 and 07-18 to pick a comfortable win.
Ambounduo Karaboue scored a total of 19 points to lead the floor while Kehasson Oulai added 12 points to consolidate victory over a Burkina Faso side that were short of ideas from the bench.
Appling the front court press to pressure their opponents, Burkina Faso got confused by the power play of the team that paraded only two African players from Morocco and found themselves on the wrong footing for the most part of the 40 minutes of play.
Despite the Ivorians over bearing influence on the game, Stephan Nissao was able to amass a total of 13 points to lead the floor for his Burkina Faso. His teammate Camille Bihoun collected 10 points.
Cote d’Ivoire's head coach Tea did not mince word with the result of the game saying that the trip to Cotonou is not meant for pleasure.
“We came to Cotonou for business and to ensure we win the two games before returning to Abidjan to get set for the second leg'', he told FIBA.com.
''In this Zone, after the FIBA AfroBasket 2015 champions, Nigeria, no other country should rank before Cote d’ Ivoire. Without being boastful, you can’t compare our level of basketball with the other countries.
That is not to say that we’ll underrate our opponents because in a game anything can happen. Before our home fans in Abidjan, we’ll play like professionals to seal our ticket for Congo Brazzaville ”, Tea pointed out.
Mamadou Savadogo, admitted that most of their players tired out because of the first encounter against Benin.
“We fought hard against Benin and it affected our performance greatly and worse still we lost our point guard to injury. That affected the team’s rotation but the fight is not over until we get to Abidjan for the second leg slated for 22 – 26 March.
Later today, the Benin side will face the fire power of Cote d’ Ivoire. Both side beat Burkina Faso and need a win to consolidate their position.