ABIDJAN/ALEXANDRIA/KIGALI - On the day that eight other teams joined Cote d'Ivoire and South Sudan in the Second Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Africa Qualifiers, five players sent themselves apart with exceptional displays.
The quintet inspired their teams to improve their chances in the race for a place at next year's World Cup in Indonesia, Japan and Philippines.
In Kigali, Walter Tavares propelled the islanders to their second straight win to top Group A.
With his 8-for-8 shooting, Tavares not only recorded the highest 2pt field goal percentage by any player in the African Qualifiers, but he also earned man-of-the-match recognitions in the 87-78 win against Uganda.
Tavares was so impactful in the game that even when he fouled out with 3:34 minutes left and Cape Verde up by 17 (80-63), Uganda, who trailed by as many as 21 points, used a 13-0 run to cut the deficit to 80-76 with 41 seconds left.
An efficiency of 24, 21 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in 26:50 minutes speak for themselves.
As the shortest player in the African Qualifiers, Childe Dundao's name continues to resonate more and more in recent times.
When Angola needed bounced back from a loss to Cote d'Ivoire the day before, the 1.67m point guard responded with a terrific display to help the former African champions get away with an 85-65 triumph over Guinea.
Dundao's 18 points, 3 steals , 7 assists and a 3-for-4 shooting from behind the arc earned him an efficiency of +22.
Can anyone discuss South Sudan's rise in African basketball charts without a mention to Kuany Ngor Kuany these days? Probably not.
In what would be South Sudan's biggest test in the African Qualifiers, Kuany was superb in the 75-61 triumph over reigning African champions Tunisia.
Kuany had a 4-for-6 3pt shooting success to finish with 12 points, he contributed 12 rebounds and had 2 assists to help South Sudan improve to 5-0.
A major addition to Cote d'Ivoire's rotation, Matt Costello was a huge presence in the Ivorians' 73-63 win against the Central African Republic.
The 2.08m (6ft 9in) center contributed 8 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks to deserve a +25 efficiency.
Christian Lutete was the offensive DR Congo used to beat Senegal for the second time in a row,
Aggressive defensively, it was in the offence end of the floor that Lutete changed the course of the game.
He converted 4 of his 8 3pt attempts to finish with 19 points, he grabbed 6 rebounds and added an assist to propel DR Congo to the 72-60 victory against Senegal.