Angola secured their place in the Afrobasket Championships final with a 58-51 win over hosts Tunisia ©FIBA

Defending champions Angola maintained their pursuit of a 12th Afrobasket Championships title, recordomg a hard-fought 58-51 victory over hosts Tunisia to reach the final at the Salle Omnisport de Rades.

The Angolans led for most of the contest as Carlos Morais, Eduardo Mingas and Yanick Moreira combined to score 48 points for their side to ensure they will get the opportunity to defend the crown they won in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, two years ago.

Angola will now play Nigeria, who beat Senegal 88-79 in overtime in the other semi-final.

In front of a raucous crowd of 12,000 inside the arena, the Tunisians struggled to score early on and trailed 24-15 at the break, the lowest half-time score in the tournament’s 50-year history.

The pace of the game continued throughout with only fleeting moments where the home side threatened a comeback.

Angola themselves were not on top form but were still able to fend off the Tunisian attacks, while remaining stout in defence, and they took a 41-32 advantage into the final quarter.

The hosts managed a 7-0 run at the beginning of the final stanza to cut the deficit to two, but Angola coach Moncho Lopez made good use of the timeout, allowing his side to regroup before they saw out a low-scoring win to secure their spot in their ninth consecutive final.

Nigeria booked their place in their first Afrobasket Championships final since 2003 with an overtime win against Senegal
Nigeria reached their first Afrobasket Championships final since 2003 with an overtime win against Senegal ©FIBA

Nigeria, meanwhile, claimed a place in the Afrobasket Championships' showpiece contest for the first time since 2003, when they lost  to Angola, as a superb haul of 28 points from Chamberlain Oguchi guided them to a thrilling victory over five-times champions Senegal.

The match was in stark contrast to the other to take place today as both teams attacked at will, producing a pulsating match full of tension and drama.

The lead changed hands seven times, with Senegal establishing a 37-35 half-time advantage thanks to a last-gasp three pointer from Ibrahima Thomas after the Nigerians had gone into the second quarter with a nine-point lead.

The Nigerians, keen to keep their dream of winning their maiden Afrobasket crown alive, hit back and were able to edge 76-73 in front going into the final minute, before Gorgui Dieng, Senegal’s top scorer with 20, netted a three-pointer to send the semi-final into overtime in dramatic fashion.

Nigeria held their nerve, though, and proved too strong for the Senegalese side in the end to ensure they will play for the title and a place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Egypt took fifth place as they beat Algeria 69-63, while Mali edged Gabon to seventh with a 94-82 success.

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