The FIBA Africa Championship tournament continued on Thursday with Groups A and C playing their second set of games in lovely Abidjan. The round-robin portion of the tournament is only for seeding purposes in next week's knockout tournament, though, so no teams are in danger of being eliminated this week.
That doesn't mean this week's pool play doesn't matter, however. Teams obviously want to get the best seed possible heading into the 16-team tournament because the top three finishers automatically advance to next year's FIBA World Cup, moving one step closer to a berth at the 2016 Olympics.
Cape Verde 90, Central African Republic 82 -- Cape Verde put up the most points in the tournament (before being passed later in the day by Angola), having five players score in double figures en route to its victory over Central African Republic. Cape Verde scored just 50 points in Tuesday's loss to Angola so Thursday's game was a nice rebound.
33-year-old Rodrigo Mascarenhas hasn't played professionally in a couple years, but the veteran wing led Cape Verde with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Dimitry Akanda-Coronel, currently a sophomore on the Maine Black Bears, matched Mascarenhas' 17 points despite missing all of his three-points attempts. 7'3 center Walter da Veiga, who is automatically-eligible for next year's NBA Draft, had 12 points and three rebounds off the bench while Aldevino Lima and Shane da Rosa rounded out their team's double-digit scorers.
Central African Republic's squad was led by five players of their own scoring in double figures, but a lack of defense and being beat on the boards ultimately led to their demise. William Kossangue led his team with 14 points, but continued struggling inside the three-point arc as he's now 3-for-10 from two-point territory in the tournament.
Egypt 63, Algeria 67 -- Trailing by 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter, Algeria outscored Egypt 23-9 in the final frame to walk away with a 67-63 comeback victory. Algeria managed just 47 points in a loss to Cote d'Ivoire on Tuesday, and used a big game by Mehdi Cheriet to rebound with a big win on Thursday.
Cheriet led both teams with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting, with his nine fourth quarter points propelling Algeria to a 15-0 run in take the lead for good with just over two minutes remaining regulation. Cheriet, who played college at San Diego State, managed just four points in 33 minutes in Tuesday's loss before his offensive explosion against Egypt.
The Egyptians were led by Assem Marei with 14 points in 23 minutes on 7-of-14 shooting. Wael Badr added 13 points in 25 minutes, with four players overall managing double-digit points in the loss. Egypt was inconsistent throughout the game offensively, managing just seven points and nine points in the second and fourth quarters while putting up 26 in the third quarter alone.
Senegal 46, Cote d'Ivoire 74
For a while it looked like the Senegalese team could take a major step forward, beating the Ivory Coast for the first time since 2001. Leading by just three points at the half, the Ivory Coast asserted its will in the second -- outscoring Senegal, 45-20, ensuring their streak would continue.
Former BYU small forward Charles Abouo led Ivory Coast's scoring with 15 points, adding five rebounds. While Senegal was led by Ibrahima Mbengue, who finished with 16 points.
Angola 91, Mozambique 73
A second-half surge by Angola led to a 22-point victory on Thursday. Rebounding helped pave the victory, as Angola pulled down 15 more boards than Mozambique, while contributing 10 more assists.
Angola was led by Carlos Morais, who scored 16 points but failed to take care of the ball -- turning it over a game-high seven times. Only three players managed to score in double-digits for Mozambique, whose 38.6 percent shooting wasn't enough to put them over the top in the second half.
These teams will all take the court again Saturday to finish up round-robin play before Monday's knockout tournament begins.