It's decision day in the FIBA Women's Pre-Qualifying African Tournament

www.fiba.basketball
www.fiba.basketbal|17-Nov-2019 16:08

MAPUTO (Mozambique) - The biggest day of the FIBA Women's Pre-Qualifying African Tournament has arrived as the winners of Sunday's two Semi-Finals in Maputo will advance to next year's 16-nation Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT).

A thorough look into the games, and it brings memories from the 2019 FIBA Women's AfroBasket Semi-Finals three months ago in Dakar, Senegal.

At the time, both Nigeria and Senegal went to face off in the title game while Mali beat Mozambique in the Third-Place game.

However, the winners of Sunday's Semi-Finals will be rewarded with the two spots on offer for African teams for the WOQT, meaning they won't play each other in Maputo.

It's actually the final day of the five-team competition (it was supposed to be a six-team tournament, but DR Congo withdrew just hours before the start of the competition), which began Thursday, November 14. 

After beating Angola and Mali to finish top of Group B, Senegal will go up against hosts Mozambique, who  finished second in the two-team Group A after losing to reigning African champions on Saturday.

When Senegal and Mozambique met three months ago in Dakar, Mozambique almost caused what could have been the upset of the tournament although Senegal prevailed 60-57.

Senegal head coach Cheikh Sarr confessed at the time how difficult it was to beat a resolute Mozambique team: "I had to shout out a little bit in the locker room at the half time break and bring the team together to play better defence and that helped us a lot."

Senegal, who represented Africa at the 2016 Rio Olympics, last participated in the WOQT back in 2008 while Mozambique featured in the tournament in 2012 in Ankara, Turkey.

In the other Semi-Final, Nigeria - who haven't lost a game in African competitions since the Semi-Finals of the 2015 African Championship in Cameroon,  will face Mali. 

At first glance, Nigeria might extend their winning streak. If they do, the Nigerians will return to the WOQT for the second time in a row. 

It's up to Mali to try and stop the most dominant African team in recent years. 

Meanwhile, Senegal head to the last four of the tournament with a 2-0 record, Mali won of their two games, while Nigeria outclassed Mozambique in Saturday's only Group A of the competition.

The National Federations of Belgium (Ostend), China (Foshan), France (Bourges) and Serbia (Belgrade) have been awarded the hosting rights of the four WOQT from February 6 to 9, 2020.

The 16 WOQT teams will be split into four groups, who will then battle for spots at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.