Three months after the FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers, the competition will be back in July and there are a lot more reasons to be excited about the competition. After 16 teams in Groups A, B, C and D tipped off the race for the 2023 basketball World Cup in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, the competition will continue from 1st July 2022. These teams have been battling for the five spots available for African teams and and according to top Asian bookie Vwin there are lots of reasons to be excited, including:
Rwanda’s Kendall Gray Try to make His World Cup Dream Come True
Kendall Gray is a powerful addition to Rwanda’s basketball team and he was the first to publicly admit that his adoptive country deserves his best. Rwanda started their 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Dakar with losses against South Sudan and Cameroon, but the 6ft 10in forward hailing from California insists that he wants to make his childhood dream of featuring in the World Cup come true.
Over the first games for Rwanda in Dakar, the 29-year-old player brought his best game in various situations, scoring in the paint, playing physically tirelessly, and blocking a shot. Kendall registered the highest efficiency in the Rwandan team over their first two games, contributing 7.5 rebounds, 10 points and 2 blocked shots in each game.
Getting one of the spots out of three tickets available in Group B will take a lot of work from the Rwandan team, especially since Cameroon, Tunisia, and South Sudan are highly determined. However, Gray seems motivated by his team and is highly determined to make his childhood dream a reality.
New Talents Coming Up
Senegal’s Dakar arena was full of surprises in February as there were several huge upsets with stunning results. South Sudan ended Tunisia’s unbeaten run since 2018, while Senegal’s amazing nine-game winning streak was ended by DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). These stunning results were thanks to an incredible performance from players like Nuni Omot, Rodrigue Ebondo Tambwe, William Adala Moto, Omar Abda, and Yusuf Shehata.
Three months ago, newcomers like Cote d’Ivoire’s Assemian Moulare, Guinea’s Shannon Evans, and Angola’s Teotonio Do proved to be valuable assets to their teams. As such, it wouldn’t be surprising if more new talents rise to help their national teams reach the WorldCup as the 2023 FIBA African qualifiers continue.
Who Will Be Africa’s Representative in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines?
Only a few African nations have ever represented the continent in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in the last two decades. The teams that have represented Africa at the World Cup in the last five editions include Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Tunisia, and Nigeria.
In the next edition, FIBA’s new competition system allowed Africa to send five representatives to Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, adding two more spots. That might be the beginning of a new era for the continent, as more African teams showcase their talents on the international stage.
Looking at the record that the 16 teams have set so far, Angola, Tunisia, Senegal, Egypt, and Nigeria might book a spot in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. However, the performances of teams like Mali, South Sudan, and Guinea leaves worry for the major teams as anything can happen in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
The Democratic Republic of Congo Attempt to Make it to the World Cup
DRC has become quite unpredictable in recent times. Their basketball team is capable of shocking heavyweight teams or letting their chances slip through them. However, nobody should underestimate the Congolese team under their new head coach Thomas Drouot.
Congo had an amazing start in the competition, upsetting Kenya in their opening game of the FIBA World Cup African qualifiers before beating Senegal in their second match. However, they lost to Egypt in their third game during the second round of the competition hosted in Dakar.
DRC is currently ranked third in Group behind Egypt and Senegal, but they haven’t given up hope on qualifying for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. The team is set to meet Kenya in their next game in July and they hope to repeat their performance in their last game with the Morans.
What’s next for Egypt?
In the last few years, The United States became Egypt’s favorite basketball destination with almost half of their current team having played in various US College Programs. Their current team is unquestionably competitive and talented, but their disastrous campaign at the 2021 AfroBasket has left many questioning their capability of reaching the world cup.
Some of the top players in Egypt’s current team have led them to several FIBA U18 African Championships, but winning the senior titles has proven to be challenging. The team is currently sitting at the second position behind Senegal in Group D and basketball fans are wondering whether their run in July will be the starting point for their players to exploit their talents.