Highlights came in thick and fast, aplenty with class and absolute quality at the Cairo Indoor Stadium to demonstrate why we love this continental competition. Today was a kind reminder of what we should expect at this tournament.
As the teams roll out their intentions at the continental showpiece, we bring you the top five performances in no particular order.
1- Djefarima Diawara (Energie)
A typical workaholic who gives everything in every game she plays on both ends of the court is no wonder the first name that comes up in whatever team she is a part of.
Her teammates and opponents alike admire her for her energy, passion and efficiency under the hoop and Saturday was such a day.
The Ivorian guard scored more than half of Energie’s points – 28 in the bag with 16 rebounds and three assists to make the Top 5 even though the Benin side fell to MFM Queens from Nigeria.
2- Marvellous Chizi (MFM Queens)
They say names carry great meaning. For the MFM Queens shooting guard, her name speaks volumes. Playing for the first time at this level, Chizi was marvelous for the Nigerian outfit and her statistics reflect that.
She controlled the game and indeed her good decision making came in handy to announce the arrival of a new name at this level.
An impressive double double with a team-high 25 points, 11 rebounds and three assists was enough to help her team win their first fixture at the tournament.
3-Ingvild Macauro (Ferroviario de Maputo)
If intensity had a surname, it would be Macauro. The Ferroviario de Maputo captain plays with her heart on her sleeve.
Her heart bleeds green and white and when she leads her army out onto the court, she leaves everything she has on the court.
She came up with 18 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals to inspire the reigning champions to their first win at the tournament even though FAP from Cameroon were a hard nut to crack, the Mozambicans won 48-40.
🇲🇿 1st win for Reigning Africa Champions Ferroviario de Maputo! #FIBAACCW
🔥 Ingvild Mucauro: 18 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals pic.twitter.com/2I0VmM4MCS
— #FIBAACCW (@FIBAACCW) December 7, 2019
4- Astou Traore (InterClube)
Just as she dominates the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket, Traore has arrived at the FIBA Africa Women’s Champions Cup with a big bang.
To think that at 38, Traore still executes and makes it count like she is a teenager is really incredible.
Making her debut at the continental competition, she introduced herself by dropping a game-high 27 points, nine rebounds and two assists and when she lines up tomorrow, none of the hushed voices in the stands will be asking again who she is. They know her capability now.
To score 36 points including converting eight times behind the arc is a shooting percentage that can only be tagged onto a player that is special.
The 24-year old earned a spot on the list for her tenacity, accuracy and eye-catching performance on a day when Al Ahly fans came in big numbers to support their beloved team and they were not disappointed.
Plays are orchestrated to rotate around her strengths and just as their opponents get used to the idea that they need to stop her, up steps another incredible guard in Soraya Degheidy and then Schaquilla Nunn is always around the corner in the paint.
These top five performances brought a spark to the second day of the competition and these players have mentioned that this is just the beginning and they have a lot more up their sleeves.