In the opening match of the ninth African Basketball championships the host country, Senegal, beat Mauritania, watched by the Senegalese Prime Minister and representatives of the nine other competing countries.
MV: Flags of competing nations PAN DOWN TO basketball insignia and poster. (TWO SHOTS)
MV: Teams of competing nations Sudan, Togo, Senegal, Mauritania, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt. (SEVEN SHOTS)
GV: Prime Minister of Senegal shakes hands with member of Senegalese team.
SV: Senegalese with ball score point against Mauritania.
MV & CU: Timekeepers.
SV: Mauritania attacking nearly score but ball taken into play by Senegalese.
GV: Senegalese team looks on. (Spectators)
MV: Senegalese score a point.
MV: General play with Senegalese in command and attempting to score Mauritania take ball and attack to score.
SV: Play with Senegalese attacking and scoring.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In the opening match of the ninth African Basketball championships the host country, Senegal, beat Mauritania, watched by the Senegalese Prime Minister and representatives of the nine other competing countries.
SYNOPSIS: The last championships, held in Cairo two years ago were won by Egypt, who with Senegal, are favourite to win the competition. The 10 countries taking part have been split into two pools for the nine day championships. A total of 27 games will be played in two stadia in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, with the final on New Year's Day. After the opening ceremony, at the Demba Diop stadium, Senegals Prime Minister, Mr. Abdou Diouf, was presented to members of the teams from Senegal and Mauritanis, who played the first game.
Senegal, newcomers to the African basketball championships, started hesitantly but took a six point lead after nine minutes.
Mauritania, without one of their star players, found themselves trailing further behind, despite coming close to scoring. But by the end of the first half of the match Senegal - with a lead of 57 to 28 - began to dominate the play.
From than on Mauritania found themselves under constant pressure and the Christmas Day crowd saw their side open up a commanding lead. The home team, known locally as The Lions, with an average age of 23, reached the one hundred point mark with only four minutes of the game remaining, and ended up clear winners by 112 to 57. The top point scorer of the match was Senegal's 22-year-old Moussa Tour - who at 1.98 metres is his side's tallest player.