Angola, Nigeria reach AfroBasket final

AFP

AfroBasket's most successful nation Angola qualified for their ninth straight final in Tunisia on Saturday, while Nigeria ended a 12-year wait to play in the decider.

Up against the hosts and in a rematch of the 2011 final, which Angola lost, Moncho Lopez's side kept Tunisia to less than 10 points in the opening two quarters to set up their seven-point win in a tight semi-final.

Carlos Morais and captain Eduardo Mingas were joint top-scorers for Angola with 14 points each, which Tunisia's Makrem Ben Romdhane notched 12 for the home team.

Tunisia trailed 24-15 at half-time after scoring just nine and six in the first two terms, and although they surged in the second half, they could not catch Angola.

It means Angola - 11-time African basketball champions - will challenge for their 12th title in 14 tournaments when they take on Nigeria on Sunday.

Nigeria had not reached an AfroBasket final since 2003 - when they lost 85-65 to Angola - but overcame Senegal 88-79 in overtime to end that drought.

Senegal edged the middle two quarters to lead 66-60 with a term to play in Rades but Nigeria outscored their West African rivals 19-13 in the fourth period to force overtime.

Nigeria dominated the extra period to cruise to an 11-point victory.

Chamberlain Oguchi led Nigeria with 28 points, while Olaseni Lawal (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Al-Farouq Aminu (10, 10) both registered double-doubles.

Gorgiu Dieng continued his strong tournament with 20 points and 16 rebounds for Senegal.

Nigeria had fallen at the semi-final stage of two of the past five AfroBasket tournaments, while they have lost their two past finals to Angola.

In AfroBasket's 43-year history, Nigeria have never won a title.