BEIRA (FIBA U16 Women’s African Championship 2017) – Angola and Egypt are relieved that they will not meet the unbeaten Mali in the Semi-Finals of the ongoing FIBA U16 Women’s African Championship in Mozambique.
Sidiya Oumarou’s side saw off Angola 60-43 with the unstoppable shooting guard Aissetou Coulibaly sinking a game high 19 points, nine steals and six assists.
With that loss, Angola were hoping that Egypt sees off hosts Mozambique because that way, they would avoid the Malians in the last four.
However, Mozambique led the match for three quarters 20-9, 34-22 and 48-37 with the lead in double figures throughout until the Egyptians launched a comeback that saw Habiba Elgizawy drop an important three-pointer that gave Egypt the lead for the first time in the game 58-57.
Hereafter, Egypt scored on each possession and Mozambique were punished for poor game management and now they must face Mali in the Semi-Final.
Angola head coach Elisa Pires expressed delight when it was confirmed that her side will meet Egypt even though the latter have won all the four encounters since the inception of this event in 2009.
"It was important for us that we do not meet Mali in the Semi-Final because they are a very strong side. Now we shall meet Egypt and yes, we have never beaten them but we feel that now we shall have a chance to revenge the loss in the earlier game."Pires
"This will be a big game for us because it is the ticket to the FIBA U17 Women's World Cup in Belarus but we also want to play in the Final. It will be very good for us," she emphasized.
It was double joy for Egypt too who ensured that they do not meet their archrivals Mali who have tormented them at almost each tournament, at least not at this crucial stage.
This was all thanks to Malak Elshishiny who scored 15 points for Egypt with Reim Abdelalim picking five rebounds in the highly tense match as they won 64-61 against Mozambique.
Elgizawy told FIBA.basketball that, "We were down from the beginning but we kept believing that if we continue playing good defense we shall close that gap and in the last quarter albeit late, we managed to achieve this and win the game."
"Now it means that we shall not meet Mali in the Semi-Final which is very important to us because they are a very strong team," she added.
Just like Elgizawy, Pires reflected the same thoughts and said, "It was important for us that we do not meet Mali in the Semi-Final because they are a very strong side. Now we shall meet Egypt and yes, we have never beaten them but we feel that now we shall have a chance to revenge the loss in the earlier game."
The Finalists will represent Africa at the FIBA U17 Women's World Cup 2018 in Minsk, Belarus next summer.