Having kicked off on Tuesday 24th August 2021, the 30th edition of FIBA AfroBasket which runs from August 24th to September 5th at Kigali Arena brought together 16 teams.
Rwanda is participating in the tournament for the sixth time.
According to Kawowo Sports, it was a back and forth affair to start the game but Congo assumed a quick 6-point (11-5) lead midway through the quarter that forced coach Cheikh Sarr to call for time. On return, Rwanda closed out the period with a 19-4 run.
The second quarter was square with both teams scoring 19 points apiece despite Rwanda assuming double-digit leads at several intervals but DRC never backed off.
Congo trailed by as many as 15 points at some point but drew level at 50 on Jordan Sakho’s three-point play with 2:10 to play in the third quarter.
The Congolese never fell far behind early in the fourth quarter but their failure to deal with Rwanda’s 2-1-2 fullcourt press was recipe for disaster as the hosts capitalized on the turnovers forced to pull away for the win.
Shooting guard William Robeyns led all scorers with 23 points to pace Rwanda. Dieudonne Ndizeye contributed 12 points off the bench while Kenneth Gasana stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 steals.
Point guard Maxi Shamba scored 22 points for DRC, Henry Pwono added 12 points while Sakho scored 12 points to go with 9 boards.
The two sides return to action on Thursday, August 26. DRC will face Cape Verde at 4:00 pm (EAT) while Rwanda will take on the record champions Angola at 7:00 pm (EAT).