Rwanda suffered a 77-81 defeat at hands of Cameroon Sunday afternoon to miss out on a place in the quarter-finals of the ongoing 29th African Basketball Championships (Afrobasket) in Senegal and Tunisia.
Rwanda started the game with a clear intent to win and dominated the first quarter 22-18. However, things changed very quickly as Cameroon bounced back to take the second quarter 23-14 to go into half-time break with a 41-36 lead.
Moise Mutokambali's team upped their game after the break and claimed the third quarter narrowly 17-16 before both teams tied 24-all in the last quarter.
Led by Kenneth Gasana, Rwanda was leading 72-69 going into the final 90 seconds but Hamza Ruhezamihigo's foul on a Cameroonian player, with just 80 seconds remaining, was the beginning of the collapse for Rwanda as players failed to manage the pressure.
Gasana scored the game high 18 points while Adala Moto dropped 17 points for Cameroon. Rwanda had set an ambitious target of at least reaching knock-out stages for the first time in five attempts since their debut in 2007 in Angola.
Ranked 64th in FIBA men's global rankings, Rwanda are competing at the 2017 Afrobasket finals on wild card after failing to qualify from Zone V Championship in Egypt early this year.
Sunday, selected results
Rwanda 77-81 Cameroon
Egypt 70-51 South Africa