Tunisia, Ivory Coast clash in AfroBasket final on Sunday

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Tunisia's hopes of successfully defending their AfroBasket title remain very much alive after Dirk Bauermann's side secured a 75-65 victory over Cape Verde in the first of Saturday's semi-finals at the Kigali Arena in the Rwandan capital.

Cape Verde got off to a fast start and led 12-2 in the opening quarter, but Tunisia fought back to lead 16-14 by the end of the first.

They would never trail after that.

Tunisia moved ahead by ten points by halftime and stretched that advantage to 15 by the end of the third.

That proved too big a gap for Cape Verde to bridge and Tunisia cruised through the final stages.

Makram Ben Romdhane led the way for the winners with 16 points, backed up by 14 points apiece from Omar Abada, Salah Mejri, and Michael Roll.

Walter Tavares had 16 for Cape Verde, supported by 13 points from Ivan Almeida and 11 from Kenneti Mendes.

Tunisia are attempting to become the first team to win back-to-back AfroBasket titles since Angola achieved the feat in 2009.

Ivory Coast reached their first AfroBasket final since 2009 on Saturday with a 75-65 victory over 5-time champions Senegal in Kigali.

The lead changed hands seven times in a closely contested opening period, but the Ivorians moved up a gear in the second and at one stage held an 11-point lead before going into halftime at 36-29.

Senegal - who put out 11-time champions Angola in the last eight - closed to 38-36 in the third and trailed by a single point three times in the fourth, but they couldn't draw level and in the closing minutes, Paolo Povia's side pulled away.

Matt Costello led the winners with 17 points, backed up by 15 from Nisre Mimi Zouzoua, 14 from Souleyman Diabate and 11 from Vafessa Fofana.

Gorgui Dieng's game-high 24 points and Brancou Badio's 15 couldn't save Senegal in the end.

Ivory Coast will be looking to win their first continental title since 1985 when they take on Tunisia in Sunday's final.

The defending champions comfortably saw off Cape Verde by the same score in the first semi-final earlier in the day.

AP

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