FIBA AfroCAN: Tanzanite stamp mixed results

THE national men’s basketball team ‘Tanzanite’ endured mixed results as the FIBA AfroCAN 2023 Championship Finals’ qualifying games gathered a storm at the Benjamin Mkapa National Indoor Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

The five-country week-long showdown that tipped off on Friday continues at the same venue and will wind up on Thursday.

Five teams will battle for one ticket that will see them head to Luanda, Angola, between July 8 and 16, for the Final Phase of the quadrennial tournament.

The teams contesting for the ticket include Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Eritrea, and South Sudan.

The Tanzanite team, under Head Coach Mohammed Mbwana and assistant Ashraf Harun, started the campaign with a massive 69-34 win over Eritrea in the opening game.

The home side took an 11-4 first-quarter lead and added 18-14 in the second, which helped them go 29-18 lead after the interval.

Tanzanite’s charge in the third quarter hit 22-8 and closed with 18-8 before sealing a 69-34 victory.

The national envoys attempted to push the wins from one to two games, but their hard-fought effort ended with a 63-77 loss to Burundi in the second Sunday game.

The national team has again started very impressively, taking a 17-14 lead in the first quarter and leading by a 33-28 after the interval.

However, things went wrong after the break; Burundi corrected their early mistakes charge with a 57-46 lead in the third quarter before sealing a 77-63 victory.

The win helped Burundi to top the table with two wins from two games.

Burundi expected to extend their supremacy as they returned to face Eritrea in yesterday evening’s scheduled game.

Rwanda are placed third after outclassing Eritrea 114-34 in their first encounter, they will meet second-placed Tanzania today. Tanzania will later face South Sudan, who lost their opening game to Burundi.

Organisers Tanzania Basketball Association (TBF) Communication Officer Mery Arthur told the ‘Daily News’ that it’s a tough contest, but the team hopes to snatch the ticket.

“We still have hopes to seal the ticket to the finals despite losing our second encounter with Burundi. We would have been in a good position if we had won yesterday (Sunday).

“There is only one team that qualifies in our region, so until now, I can say that we are 50/50. The technical bench is doing well, and the players’ morale is high,” she stressed.


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