Monastir (Tunisia) – The Tunisian national team has never lost twice in a row at home, but that is what happened on Saturday in Monastir, where the African champions had to admit defeat against Senegal (63-73).
Tunisia approached this match with a desire to compensate itself after the defeat it suffered the previous day against Egypt, but facing a Senegalese team with their backs to the wall was a great challenge for the Tunisians, especially since they had to dispense with services. Their star Salah Mejri injured his knee.
Tunisia coach Dirk Bormann would like to salute the efforts of his players: “It is the golden generation of Tunisian basketball and it has done so much for the country. These players are now 34, 35 or more, and they deserve a lot of recognition for what they have achieved. They won the continental championships, they should be celebrated.”
But Tunisia entered the match well, and returned to the dressing room in the first half with a narrow margin (40-33).
But Senegal tightened up the match after the break and ended up dominating the match.
Once again, Jorge Deng carried his country by scoring 20 points, and was well supported by Branko Badiou, who had 16 points and 4 assists to help Senegal improve their record to 5-3 in this qualifier while there is still one match to play. In this fourth window, against Cameroon.
Yacine Toumi was the most prominent Tunisian with 14 points and 7 rebounds, and Michael Rolle was his only teammate over 10 with 14 points.
rotation: The encounter was well balanced through the first three quarters, but Jean-Jacques Boissy’s three-point shot and two free throws around Youssoufa Ndwe allowed Senegal to lead (54-51) before the final ten minutes approached. The Senegalese are no longer behind to the end.
Mohamed Faye scored a shot off the field early in the last period to help Senegal take control of their destiny. Although Michael Roll gave hope to the local fans in Mohamed Mazali’s room with a winning shot and throw-in to equalize 56-56, Senegal did not panic.
The decisive action is likely to be credited to Branko Badiou, whose three-point shot gave Senegal an advantage of 69-61 with 3:45 minutes left.
man of the match: Giorgui Dieng’s influence is undeniable. The Atlanta Hawks winger scored the first 5 points for Senegal, and finished the match with 20 points and 7 rebounds.
By numbers: The Senegalese dominated the bench in Tunisia (22-12). The Senegalese were also more adept at free throws (22 out of 27/81.5%) than the Tunisians (5 out of 13/38.5%).
To remember: Senegal’s resolve won the Tunisian selection. Although Tunisia showed good intentions after its defeat the previous day against Egypt, it could not make up for the absence of Salah Mejri.
Tunisia had a 4-2 record before this fourth window of qualifying, and tonight they balanced 4-4.
They said: “For us, it was like a final. We take matches one by one. Tonight we gave it our all. Our defense is the key. We were very aggressive and that allowed us to win. It is a great victory. We are looking forward to playing the next match.” – Branko Badiou, Senegal’s leader
“I am very proud of our performance. Salah is clearly missing [Mejri]Who dominated the first half against Egypt hurt us. In addition to Firas [Lahiani], Excellent in the last two games, he injured his ankle. We had to improvise a bit in Post 4 and that changed everything for us. Senegal took the opportunity to dominate the rebounds (+12) and we didn’t recover from it. Like I said, I’m very proud of our performance. [Yacine] Tommy is a pleasant surprise. He is a wonderful young man, he works very hard, he is very dedicated and very talented. His performance has something that gives us optimism for the years to come.” – Dirk Bormann, Tunisia coach
“They really hurt us on the rebounds. We did a very good job though. We gave everything. These injuries are part of the match.” – Yacine Toumi, Tunisian winger