26/01/2014: Mozambique and India continued their impressive run of form yet again, while the Macau women’s team fell prey to their opponents, registering their third consecutive defeat of the tournament.
The opening match of the day featured the women’s team from Macau taking on Angola. Just as in their first two matches, the Macanese women did not challenge enough, and as a result, lost comprehensively to their African opponents, with the score set at 102-31.
A triumphant Angola Head Coach, Elisa Pires, said, “We expected to walk away with a victory when we got here, to be honest, but certainly by not such a huge margin. I believe that there will be greater tests for us ahead, and we have to prepare for them accordingly.”
The subsequent men’s match between Mozambique and Cape Verde was a close run affair, right to the end, but it was Mozambique’s tenacity that saw them through, right to the end. With several outbursts on the court, and many refereeing decisions being questioned, the final score stood at 67-56.
A content Cesar Mujui, Head Coach of Mozambique, said, “We are through to the semi-final, and top of our group. Realistically, we know it will get tougher from this point, and our opponents will be massive opposition, but we will give it our best.”
The second women’s match of the day, was much anticipated, and saw India take on Mozambique. The physicality of the game was already on the cards, but was never expected to be a pivotal feature of the game. Despite a brilliantly determined and tireless effort from Shreen Limaye with 15 points and 2 assists, India simply could not overcome their African opponents. The final score eventually stood at a surprising 92-46 in favour of Mozambique.
Mozambique Head Coach, Nazir Sale, said, “We were very restricted against Macau and had to play a restricted game, but against India, even though they were stronger, we played with more freedom, and with a greater attacking threat, especially when we were on the counter-attack.”
The big draw of the day was the much anticipated and expected tie between African Angola and the hosts, Goa-India; both fighting for supremacy in the group. Angola, 11 times African champions, and ranked 8th in the world, were touted as favourites, but Scott Flemming’s tactics seemed right on the cards, as the Indian squad managed to come out on top with the final score at 78-75, with mere seconds remaining in the match.
India’s Head Coach, Scott Flemming believes his side was always superior, saying, “We were pushed to the wire, but we prevailed because of our zone play. We played as a team, and that truly made the difference.”