Mali won their sixth back to back title in the FIBA U16 Women Africa Championship on Sunday after crushing Egypt 84 to 48 at the Amahoro Indoor Arena in Kigali, Rwanda.
Both teams faced off against each other in the final round on Saturday August 3, with Mali coming on tops 88 to 57.
The Eagles playmaker Mariam Coulibaly was named Most Valuable Player, and figures among the five majors alongside Sara Caetano (Angola), Maimouna Haidara (Mali), Malak Sadek (Egypt) and Maria Najjuma (Uganda).
Mali won the five previous editions of the competition which was launched in 2009.
Mali and Egypt have qualified for the 2020 FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup holding in Romania.
Why are the Malian girls doing so well in this competition? Their coach Oumarou Siya provides some insights.
“Mali is gradually becoming a basketball country. The youth, especially the girls, want to play basketball. They love it and they see a future in it,” he told www.ACLsports.com from Kigali.
“In Mali, we have girls with good height and stamina. The talent is available. Interest and determination were the only things missing. Now we have them and we can grow to become a powerhouse in Africa’s female basketball.”