Now that the Group Phase is done and dusted, with Mali, Cameroon, hosts Rwanda and reigning champions Nigeria already qualified for the Quarter-Finals, it’s time to decide which other four teams will make it to this pivotal round.
With some mouthwatering match-ups, Tuesday, August 1 becomes a day to stay connected to the Classification Round for the Quarter-Finals, and here is why.
ANGOLA v GUINEA
The day will open with Guinea taking on Angola, the winners of the 2011 and 2013 African championships.
The game promises to be as tough as it can be as both teams will look to improve their ranking at FIBA Africa’s flagship event for women.
Finishing second in Group A to Rwanda, Angola scored points in the race to the quarter-finals after their epic win against the hosts.
Their team is young, energetic, and capable of the highest level. The likes of Sarah Caetano, Artemis Afonso and Isabel Joao are more than willing to do like their elders.
Guinea, on the other hand, finished far from the podium at the 2021 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket.
So they are looking to move up the ranks. Masseny Kaba is Guinea’s main strength.
While they suffered in their opening game against Mozambique, Kaba’s presence on the court during the second game against Cameroon brought momentum to the team. The team finished 20 points behind.
EGYPT V SENEGAL
This will be one of the most exciting games of the classification round at the BK Arena.
Egypt, who aim to reach the Final Four, will battle title contenders Senegal. They lost their two opening games to Uganda and Mali. Senegal’s roster is strong.
But will coach Mustapha Geye find the right words for the girls to bounce back and reach all the way?
A few days later, Senegal’s point guard Cierra Dillard recalls that the Lionesses lost their two opening games in 2015. “There’s still an opportunity, and we will take it,” she told FIBA.basketball.
Egypt’s captain Soraya Degheidy is adamant her side can aspire to more than the Classification Games. “We’re not here to finish in the Top Eight. We’re here for the Final Four.” This translates into their state of mind, as they walk into the Classification Round with a 1-1 streak.
MOZAMBIQUE V COTE D’IVOIRE
Can tournament favorite Mozambique bounce back after their surprising opening defeat?
Looking at how they paved their way to victory against Guinea, the answer could be a big “yes”. Leia Dongue is the driving force behind this team.
And when she’s not around, Tamara Seda, Ingvild Mucauro and Odelia Mafanela can easily take up the leader’s role and carry the Guerreras to victory.
On the other hand, Ivory Coast appears to have found a leader in Djafarima Diawara. She powered the Elephants to a narrow, yet satisfying victory over Angola (72-69) and redeemed the team from their loss to Rwanda on opening day.
The big question right now is: can they make it to the top against one of the most impressive teams in Africa?
UGANDA v DR CONGO
DR Congo walks into the Classification Round with a 0-2 record and must prove observers wrong.
While losing their opening game against Nigeria seemed logical enough, the way they lost to Egypt shows that they can resist any team at the 2023 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket.
From the way they played against Egypt, it seems that they talked about their flaws and corrected them along the way. But will they be able to take the extra mile against Uganda?
Uganda, on the other hand, showed that they are a force to be reckoned with when they overcame Senegal in their second game in Group C. Though it was by a narrow margin (85-83), they hung tight and did not let the stakes bother them.
They controlled the game. For their upcoming game, they have some weapons that can cause massive harm: Jannon Otto is already at 40 points, with 19 points against Mali and 21 against Senegal. She has Flavia Oketcho and Claire Lamunu, who account for 19.5 points.
The Classification Round to the Quarter-Finals will be as challenging as the Group Phase. And it promises some very disputed games at the BK Arena.