Kigali — Champions Tunisia defeated Ivory Coast 78-75 to retain their Fiba AfroBasket crown in the final held Sunday here at the Kigali Arena.
Tunisia trailed in the first two quarters 18-25 and 16-22, but hit back to outscore the West Africans in the last two quarters 25-18 and 16-13.
The two finalists displayed experience and high quality performance at the 30th edition of the Africa basketball championship.
The match was close with the Ivorian Elephants taking a sevens points lead in the first quarter.
By halftime, Ivory Coast led 47-34. However, the champions returned stronger in the last two quarters as Salah Mejri scored a game high 22 points as the North Africans completed a remarkable comeback.
Tunisia started their campaign by easing past Guinea 86-46 in the first match of the tournament.
They proceeded to tear up five time continental winners Egypt, Central African Republic to rest top in Group B and advance with authority to quarterfinals.
In the quarters, they sailed past newcomers South Sudan 80-65 and advance to the last four.
In the semifinal, Tunisia met with the Group A top performers Cape Verde and the former secured a 75-65 win.
Gorgui Dieng scored 30 points for Senegal as they beat Cape Verde in the third place playoffs 86-73.
The Bonface Ndong’s coached side had 45 rebounds, 27 assists and eight steals.