The world’s newest country, South Sudan, will be at the FIBA Basketball World Cup Finals 2023 after securing their spot on Friday (24 February).
Led by Nuni Omot’s team-high 26 points, South Sudan secured an 83–75 win over Senegal that also ensured they will finish as one of the top two teams in Group F – thus booking their spot at the event being held in Japan, Philippines, and Indonesia from Friday, August 25, 2023 to Sunday, September 10, 2023.
South Sudan entered the African Qualifiers game at Al Ittihad Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, with an 8–1 record, knowing that a single win from any of their three remaining games would be enough.
Senegal, however, were no pushovers. The two teams traded the lead for much of the game, with South Sudan ahead by only a single point at the end of the first quarter and again at half-time.
Indeed, the west Africans led by four after three quarters before being outscored by South Sudan 24–12 in the final quarter.
With two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng as interim coach and federation president, South Sudan now have a history-making World Cup appearance to look forward to.
South Sudan joins Cote d’Ivoire as the only two countries that have qualified for the 2023 FIBA World Cup from the African region.
For a country founded in just 2011, participation in the World Cup for the very first time is an incredible sporting achievement.
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