Africa’s prime basketball showcase starts

BOITUMELO RANTAO

THE best of Africa’s basketball talent will be on show tomorrow when the qualifications for the continent elite tournament – the African Basketball Championship (AfroBasket) – kicks off in Tunisia.

A total of 12 teams will participate in the qualifying tournament, hosted in Monastir- 

Tunisia. Qualifying teams will take part in AfroBasket finals scheduled for Kigali, Rwanda, later this year. 

Monastir will play host to groups A, D,  and E. Rwanda, which is in group D, has already qualified by being the host of the final tournament which will take place later this year.

Group A consists of Tunisia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and Madagascar.

Group D has Rwanda, Nigeria, South Sudan and Mali. Group E is made up of Egypt, Uganda, Cape Verde and Morocco.

Nigeria looks to be the team to beat in Group D, after winning all the first qualifying matches played last November. South Sudan is in second place, Mali in third, and Rwanda is the last in the group.

Nigeria, who are the current leaders, looks set to continue their dominance and top the group. Point guard Ike Ireogbu was a standout in the first round of the qualifiers averaging 15.7 points per game over three games played.

African basketball stalwarts Egypt, who remain undefeated after three games, are featured in group E alongside Uganda, Cape Verde and Morocco. Group E plays home to the tournament’s leading scorer in Uganda’s Ishmail Wainwright. He is averaging 21.3 points per game in two losses and one victory, with the latter coming against Cape Verde.

Tunisia finds themselves leaders in group A after three comfortable wins. The Democratic Republic of Congo follows in second, Central African Republic sits in third, and Madagascar trailing in last place.

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