The New Times (Kigali)

28 August 2007

Angola: Country Retain Afrobasket Title

Kigali — Angola booked their ticket to the 2008 Beijing Olympics after claiming the 2007 Afrobasket championship that ended over the weekend in the country's capital Luanda.

More records were set as the South African nation recorded a fifth back-to-back and ninth title in the event's last ten editions after beating a hard fighting Cameroon by 86-72 points in a grand finale played on Sunday.

Though the young Cameroon team lost to the Angolan in the epic final, they still held their head high especially when nobody gave them chance to go far in the championship with some of the continent's basketball power house like Nigeria, Senegal and Mali bowing out at earlier stages. Eduardo Mingas was Angola's peak against the Cameroon side scoring 18 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists, the duo of Miguel Lutonda and Joaquim Gomes, the tournament's Most Valuable Player added 13 points apiece. Cameroon's forward, Brice Vounang like Mingas scored 18 points but with 10 rebounds and one block-shot.

As runner-up Cameroon will be joined by third-placed Cape Verde for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games playoffs slated for next year. Meanwhile, Rwanda that was only making its competition debut finished 12th after playing five games. Upon the team's arrival on Sunday, Jean Lucien Mugabo, the secretary general of the national basketball federation and one of the officials who accompanied the team in Angola said that the team put up a spirited fight and that there were a lot of positives to take on from the competition.

How the teams ranked after the two-week championship; Angola (champions), Cameroon, Cape Verde, Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Morocco, Mali, Rwanda, South Africa, Mozambique, D.R.Congo and Liberia in that order.

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