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Diabate takes aim at AfroBasket 2015 title, spot for Rio 2016 Games - Jul 5, 2015


POSTED BY:
OLUSEGUN IKUESAN
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Mohamed Kone
Cote d'Ivoire's Souleyman Diabate will take part in this year's AfroBasket focusing on claiming the continental title and qualifying for 2016 Olympics.

The 1.80m point guard, who will be making his fifth appearance in Africa's biggest basketball event, has high aspirations for his country.

"My dream is to see Cote d'Ivoire punch the ticket for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It will be great for me to face off [against the] world's top players," he told FIBA.com.

The native of Abidjan is aware that his Olympic dreams can only come true if the team achieves a better result than it did not when hosting AfroBasket 2013 in Abidjan.

"We have to win this tournament for our fans. Most of our players are getting older and it will be huge reward for them," Diabate said.

The 28-year-old playmaker is in the country's capital Abidjan with other players to start preparations on July 8.

Cote d'Ivoire - continental champions in 1981 and 1985 - will be chasing their third crown at the 16-team tournament in Nabeul and Tunis, Tunisia from 19-30 August.

Two years ago, the Ivorians fell short of reaching the podium as a result of a painful 57-56 loss to Senegal in the Third-Place Game.

Diabate the 2013 still remembers miss with some level of bitterness.

"AfroBasket 2013 had something particular. It was my first big tournament on home soil. Playing in front of our fans and my family brought me great happiness," he recalled.

However, he is confident that Cote d'Ivoire have what it takes to win it all in Tunisia.

"We have a team which can make it in this tournament. The members of the group have achieved more experience by playing together for several years. If all our key players are injury-free and adding new fresh players, we can play a leading role this summer," Diabate said.

Cote d'Ivoire will open their campaign on 20 August against Cape Verde in Group-D, before taking on Zimbabwe and Algeria.

The winner of AfroBasket 2015 will automatically qualify for next year's Olympic Basketball Tournament.

The teams that finish second and third will earn the right to compete in the 12-team FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT).

FIBA.com
Mohamed Kone (211-C-81, college: Valparaiso)   




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Men Women

Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Ikechukwu DIOGU
  NGR
  (204-C/F-83)
  Avg: 22
 1. Diogu, NGR22.0 
 2. Benoit, CMR21.8 
 3. Djambo, MLI17.0 
 4. Kante, MLI15.3 
 5. Odoch Opong, UGA15.3 
 6. Adala-Moto, CMR15.0 
 7. Kabasele, COD14.8 
 8. Iroegbu, NGR14.8 
 9. Conde, GUI14.7 
 10. Kabangu, RWA14.7 
Rebounds Per Game
 Makram BEN ROMDHANE
  TUN
  (204-PF-89)
  Avg: 10.5
 1. Ben-Romdhane, TUN10.5 
 2. Benoit, CMR9.3 
 3. Diogu, NGR8.7 
 4. Sidibe, MLI8.3 
 5. Djimrabaye, CAF7.3 
 6. Adala-Moto, CMR7.0 
 7. Shonganya, COD6.8 
 8. Dieng, SEN6.8 
 9. Bamba, IVO6.7 
 10. Akindele, NGR6.7 
Assists Per Game
 Ike IROEGBU
  NGR
  (188-G-95)
  Avg: 5
 1. Iroegbu, NGR5.0 
 2. Kabongo, COD4.8 
 3. Toti, IVO4.7 
 4. Hannah, SEN4.3 
 5. Gasana, RWA4.0 
 6. El-Mabrouk, TUN3.8 
 7. Niang, SEN3.5 
 8. Enabu, UGA3.0 
 9. El Gamal, EGY3.0 
 10. Njoya, CMR3.0 
Steals Per Game
 Mahamadou KANTE
  MLI
  (192-G-92)
  Avg: 3.3
 1. Kante, MLI3.3 
 2. Gasana, RWA3.0 
 3. Kabongo, COD2.8 
 4. Benoit, CMR2.0 
 5. Cipriano, ANG2.0 
 6. Sidibe, MLI2.0 
 7. Mbamalu, NGR1.8 
 8. Bamba, IVO1.7 
 9. Diabate, IVO1.7 
 10. Conde, GUI1.7 
Blocks Per Game
 Herve KABASELE
  (208-C-96)
  Avg: 2.8
 1. Kabasele, COD2.8 
 2. Kambuy, COD2.5 
 3. Sidibe, MLI1.0 
 4. Diallo, GUI1.0 
 5. NDiaye, SEN1.0 
 6. Akindele, NGR0.8 
 7. Najah, MOR0.8 
 8. Choua, MOR0.8 
 9. Ndoye, SEN0.8 
 10. Prinsloo, RSA0.7 
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