Mbah a Moute and Cameroon Fall Short of Olympic Bid
Aug. 25, 2007
LOS ANGELES - UCLA junior forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Cameroon saw its upset bid of the defending champions and host, Angola, fall short today 86-72 in the finals of the FIBA Africa Championship (Afrobasket 2007) in the Pavilion of Cidadela in Luanda, Angola.
Both teams started slugishly with a 10-10 tie after one quarter. Angola held a slight 33-31 lead at halftime. At the start of the third quarter, Mbah a Moute scored a traditional three-point play to pull Cameroon to within one at 35-34 with 9:24 left in the period. But Angola engineered an 18-1 run to build a commanding 53-35 lead with 5:09 left and never looked back. Angola held a comfortable 16-point lead (67-51) at the end of the third period. Cameroon cut the lead to 10 points three times in the fourth quarter but couldn't get any closer.
Eduardo Mingas led Angola, which had five players in double figures, with 18 points. Brice Vounang led Cameroon with 18 points. Mbah a Moute finished with seven points (2-of-7 from the field), five rebounds, one block and a team-high three assists.
Mbah a Moute played five games with Cameroon, which made its first-ever Afrobasket final and won its first medal of any kind with the silver in the 2007 tournament. The previous high finish for Cameroon was fourth in 1974. He averaged 13.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3.0 steals and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 48.6 percent (18-of-37) from the field, 63.6 percent (21-of-33) from the free-throw line and 30.0 percent (3-of-10) from three-point range.
The 24th FIBA Africa Championship, known since 1999 as the African Nations Championship, or Afrobasket, was played in five Angolan cities simultaneously: Benguela, Cabinda, Luanda, Huambo, and Lubango. There were a total of 16 teams in the competition: Group A - Angola, Rwanda, Morocco and Cape Verde; Group B - Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast and Egypt; Group C - Nigeria, Liberia, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo; Group D - Mozambique, Tunisia, South Africa and Cameroon.