BATA, Equatorial Guinea - Republic of Congos team was stuck in a traffic jam for over an hour on its way to play the opening gam

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BATA, Equatorial Guinea - Republic of Congos team was stuck in a traffic jam for over an hour on its way to play the opening game of the African Cup of Nations on Saturday. DeMario Davis Jersey . Later, dozens of rowdy fans found their way into a media room at the stadium, knocking over sponsors boards and forcing reporters and officials to scatter as they surged through.It wasnt a perfect start, but the African Cup is underway in Equatorial Guinea. Three weeks remain for organizers to try and keep the tournament together amid criticism that there hasnt been enough time for the small Central African nation to properly organize it.And as for the soccer, the host team drew 1-1 with Republic of Congo to open the traditionally chaotic 16-team, three-week championship at a packed Bata Stadium in the countrys biggest city, temporarily dispelling fears over poor attendances.Those worries might return in games in smaller remote towns not involving the home team.In the second game of an opening-night double-header in Bata, Gabon beat Burkina Faso 2-0 to take the early lead in Group A. Forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored one and set up the second to the delight of the drum-banging Gabon fans who travelled from just across the border.Gabon co-hosted the African Cup with Equatorial Guinea in 2012, but lost in the quarterfinals as Aubameyang, its top player, was the only one to miss in a penalty shootout.Its a new tournament and we start from zero, Aubameyang said.The Republic of Congo squad has been hardest hit by some of the teething problems this week in Equatorial Guinea, which only took over as host two months ago when Morocco pulled out over Ebola.Coach Claude Le Roy has already complained fiercely about their hotel, which he said had no running water and dangerously exposed electric cables. On Saturday, he said his players had to sit on a bus for 65 minutes in the sweltering temperatures and without air conditioning after they were taken through the centre of town and became bogged down in the gridlock. Le Roy said that was probably the reason why his team started so slowly against Equatorial Guinea.If CAF doesnt understand they have to protect teams ... then they (CAF) have to change, Le Roy said, blaming organizers the Confederation of African Football for not ensuring smooth passage for his squad.The Gabon fans who ended up racing through a room where player interviews take place had apparently been given the wrong directions by stadium staff, some journalists said.But on the opening day, at least, there was no problem with attendances.In fact, there were probably more fans than there should have been for the opening game as the red-shirted Equatorial Guinea supporters kept flocking into the stadium even after the seats were full. Many watched from the walkways behind the stands as American R&B singer Akon made a surprise appearance to sing for the crowd, performing in black leather pants and a long coat and standing on a running track next to the soccer field.Equatorial Guinea captain Emilio Nsue then scored the first goal of the African Cup, sliding an early shot under the Congolese keeper to produce an even bigger roar from the crowd than Akon got. Thievy Bifouma equalized for Republic of Congo with three minutes left.___Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP Christian Hackenberg Jersey . The 55th-ranked Istomin saved 11 of 14 break points to win in just over two hours, setting up a second round meeting with Australian Marinko Matosevic. It was the Uzbeks third win in three matches against fifth-seeded Kohlschreiber, the 2007 and 2012 tournament winner. Lorenzo Mauldin Jersey . -- Michigan coach John Beilein is willing to give Nik Stauskas a little leeway when it comes to shot selection. http://www.shopnyjets.us/steve-mclendon-jersey/ . A 23-year-old rookie, Stroman is 4-2 with a 3.44 earned run average in 12 games this season, the past seven of those being starts. He logged the first scoreless outing of his career on Friday versus Oakland in a no-decision.SAN FRANCISCO - Following three straight losses at home, the Raptors (6-10) begin a seven-day, three-game trip Tuesday when they visit the Golden State Warriors (10-8), a team they havent defeated on the road in nearly a decade. The Raptors went 1-3 during a season-long homestand last week and their upcoming schedule doesnt do them any favours. Although theyve had some early season success against the superior Western Conference - theyre 2-3 - eight of their next 11 games are against winning teams from the West. "Taking care of business at home was important for us and we didnt get it done," head coach Dwane Casey said after practice Monday. "Were in a semi-funk, I would call it. Its a daunting trip but thats what the NBA is about. Its a marathon, not a sprint." Looking to avoid a season-worst four-game losing streak, the Raptors open that stretch against a Warriors team that has had their number in California. Toronto is winless in its last eight visits to Oracle Arena and hasnt defeated the Warriors there since Feb. 8, 2004. Coming off another barnburner in Sacramento on Sunday, a game they won 115-113, the Warriors and their sharpshooting backcourt hope to take advantage of the struggling Raptors. Toronto allowed the Nuggets to shoot 50 per cent from the field Sunday afternoon, including 65 per cent in the second half, en route to a 112-98 loss. The Warriors, who shot 51 per cent in their win over the Kings - got 64 points from backcourt duo Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson - the two hitting 13 of their 19 attempts from three-point range. Torontos guards DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry went 10-of-29 from the field and 4-of-12 from long distance, scoring 17 points apiece against the Nuggets. Rudy Gay had a team-high 23 points, taking 23 shots, to go along with nine boards in that contest. For the first time this season, Casey made a change to his starting lineup, replacing the struggling Amir Johnson with Tyler Hansbrough, who played 34 minutes, scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds in his first start with the Raptors while Johnson was held scoreless in 14 minutes off the bench. "Well see," said Casey, asked if he plans to stick with the lineup change moving forward. "Right now, were probably going to but what weve got to do at the same time is make sure the second group has enough with it to make sure we can sustain a lead." Trends and Tidbits The Raptors are 1-7 when DeRozan scores 20 or more points this season. Theyre also 1-7 when Gay scores 20 or more. Theyre winless in four contests when both players score 20-plus in the same game. DeRozan has scored 17 or more in a career-high 10 straight games. Lowry has tied his career high, recording six or more assists in eight straight games. Toronto is 3-12 in its last 15 games against Golden State, allowing an average of 113.1 points in those contests. The Warriors have won 12 of 16 home games against Eastern Conference teams since the start of the 2012-13 season. What to Watch For Defending the three Paced by Curry and Thompson, the Warrriors lead the NBA, shooting 44 per cent from three-point range. Wesley Johnson Jersey. Most recently, Golden State connected on 15 of 25 attempts from distance Sunday with Curry (five) and Thompson (eight, a career-high) accounting for 13 of those treys. "The key to their team is Klay Thompson," Casey said. "You look at the stats, when he scores big is when they win. Currys going to get his, but we just cant let two guys go off and go crazy." Bench production The Raptors allowed the Nuggets bench to score 72 points on the weekend, the most theyve surrendered in franchise history. After the loss, Casey challenged his second unit to step up and match the intensity his starters began the game with in the first quarter. Over the last two games, Torontos reserves have been outscored by 69 points (101-32). Golden State has also struggled to get consistent production from its shortened bench. With Andre Iguodala out indefinitely nursing a strained left hamstring, Warriors coach Mark Jackson has been forced to play his starters big minutes. Who to Watch For Jonas Valanciunas Valanciunas is coming off a double-double performance (18 points and 11 rebounds) in Sundays matinee, a game in which he was utilized more consistently in the teams offence. "It felt really good, I had a lot of shots," said Valanciunas, who attempted a season-most 16 shots Sunday. "I was trying to help the team to win. Not everything can go the right way every game but I was trying, I was giving 100 per cent, so was the whole team." Still, more than half of his points have come in the first quarter this season, an ongoing concern for a Raptors team looking to diversify its offensive attack. To his credit, Valanciunas spoke about doing the things he can control - rebounding, playing hard on defence - consistently, regardless of whether the touches are coming. Valanciunas will have his hands full with Andrew Bogut, who appears to be fully healthy and has been anchoring a much improved Warriors defence. "First of all, Im going to start with good defence," the Raptors centre said of facing Bogut. "Hes a good player, he can score in the low post, he can pass the ball so Im going to try and defend him, to take away his looks." Stephen Curry Even after enjoying a breakout season last year, Curry continues to elevate his game for Golden State. The Warriors point guard is ninth in scoring (22.3 points per game), third in assists (8.7) and tied for second in threes made (51) behind teammate Thompson, who leads the league in long balls with 62. "We may do something different as far as whether we trap him before he gets in the play," Casey said of defending Curry. "Weve got to mix it up, we cant come down and give him the same look." In six career games against the Raptors, Curry is averaging 27.3 points and 8.5 assists, his best marks against any opponent. Injury Report The Warriors are expected to be without Iguodala for the sixth straight game as he recovers from a strained left hamstring. 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