Ivory Coast recorded a flawless run of three games at the first leg of the AfroBasket 2021 qualification held in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé from February 21 to 23, 2020.
The tournament will qualify teams for the 30th edition of the AfroBasket to be hosted in Rwanda in 2021.
Ivory Coast kicked off Group C series with a 58-50 victory over Guinea on Friday before edging Equatorial Guinea 78-64 to set up the much-awaited clash with host team Cameroon.
The Ivorians led the first quarter with a 30-19 win and also the second but with a relatively narrow margin, 17-14.
The Indomitable Lions bounced back in the third and fourth quarters, running home with 24-19 and 17-16 victories respectively, but falling short in the final score 82-74.
Stephane Konaté was hugely influential for the Elephants. After bagging a total of 18 points against Equatorial Guinea, he raked 25 against the Lions, with 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 blocks, totaling +26 efficiency.
The other top performer of the game was Benoit Mbala of Cameroon, who claimed 13 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block, with an efficiency of + 18.
At the end of the series, Ivory Coast top Group C with 6 points followed by Cameroon, 5, Equatorial Guinea, 4 and Guinea, 3.
The second leg series will be played early next year.