Kigali, Naturalized citizen Matt Costello had 17 points and 12 rebounds to help Ivory Coast beat Senegal 75-65 to advance to the final of the African basketball championship against defending champion Tunisia on Saturday, reports AP.
Costello, who played briefly for the San Antonio Spurs in the 2017-18 season, was tasked with slowing down Senegal center and NBA veteran Gorgui Dieng, who had a game-high 24 points but fouled out when he was assessed a technical for pushing the former Michigan State player from behind in the waning seconds.
Tunisia beat Cape Verde by an identical score of 75-65 in the other AfroBasket semifinal in host city Kigali, Rwanda. The final is Sunday.
In a battle of former NBA centers, Tunisia’s Salah Mejri helped contain Cape Verde’s Walter “Edy” Tavares by scoring 14 points and blocking five shots. Mejri played four seasons for the Dallas Mavericks.
Real Madrid’s Tavares, selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft, finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Makram Ben Romdhane added 16 points and 10 rebounds and former UCLA star Michael Roll chipped in 14 points and 10 assists for Tunisia.
Ivory Coast has won AfroBasket twice, most recently in 1985. Tunisia is also a two-time champion, having captured the title in 2011 — when Mejri was tournament MVP — and in 2017.
Source: Bahrain News Agency