MAPUTO (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers) - Senegal center Hamady Ndiaye and Mouhammad Faye have suffered serious injuries that have ruled them out of the ongoing tournament in Mozambique.
"It is hard for us to lose such quality players but what we are asking the team is to play for them. That is life. I trust in the team because we have played two hard games. We shall try to find a solution for the team to play together," lamented Senegal coach Abdou Ndiaye.
Senegal laboured to see off a stubborn Central African Republic side in their opener on Friday 70-65 before falling to rivals Cote d'Ivoire 67-60 putting their quest of qualifying to the second round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers in an early jeopardy.
Ahead of their last tie on Sunday evening against the hosts, Hamady insists that he believes in his teammates to register a positive result.
He told FIBA.basketball that, "I am part of the team but I am not the team. We are strong together as a team and I believe that my teammates will do everything possible to win this game. It is never easy when playing against the home side but we shall do our best."
Faye, who averaged 11.8 points per game at FIBA AfroBasket 2017 leading Senegal to a Third-Place finish, was expected to lead his side's charge in Maputo but following his injury, the Lions will hope that when the third window is hosted in Dakar in June-July, he will be available.
Senegal team doctor Joseph Diouf confirmed that Ndiaye and Faye will have to undergo close monitoring and will head straight back to their clubs in Italy for further treatment.
Mozambique are unbeaten so far in Group D with two wins while both Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal have bagged a win each and will be looking to make it two in this second window.