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2021 Afrobasket’s first-phase group qualifiers wrapped up

African Basketball Championship (Afrobasket)

South Sudan thrashed Rwanda 67-55 while Nigeria beat Mali 91-68 as the 2021 African Basketball Championship (Afrobasket) first phase qualifiers were wrapped up on Sunday evening in the Rwandan capital city of Kigali.

The second phase of the group qualifiers will take place in February 2021.

Twenty teams were divided into five groups of four and the top three teams from each group will automatically qualify to the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 to be held from August 24 to September 5, 202 in Rwanda.

The first phase qualifying tournament, running from November 25 to 29 in Kigali, featured teams of Groups A, B and D from 12 countries and regions. Group E competed in the Egyptian city of Alexandria from November 27 to 29, while Group C, which comprised Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea, had played their games in Yaounde in February.

On Sunday’s game, Mali from Group D initially dominated their game, taking a 16-13 lead against Nigeria in the first quarter, before the game changed in the remaining three quarters by 15-26, 20-22 and 17-30 to end on a high note for the Nigerians.

Nigeria’s top performer Ike Iroegbu contributed 17 points, six assists and three rebounds to inspire his side to a deserved win against the Malians.

High-flying Nigeria won three consecutive games after beating Mali.

Earlier in the day, Group A’s Tunisia played their last game of the tournament, beating Central African Republic 80-63 to remain undefeated, while the Democratic Republic of Congo in the same group beat Madagascar 82-64.

Tunisia won all its three games to lead the group while Group B’s top three teams are Senegal, Angola and Kenya.

Elsewhere, Egypt topped Group E after winning all its first round qualifiers in Alexandria.

Afrobasket, Africa’s flagship basketball competition, is held every two years.

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