For the Republic of South Sudan basketball lovers, 2017 will be a year to remember as it marks their arrival on the basketball scene in Zone V.
The newcomers are excited about their debut appearance at the regional tournament and are ready to fight for a place at the continent’s showpiece slated for later this year in Congo Brazzaville.
“We are very excited and privileged to be the first bunch to represent the young nation. Our aim is to hopefully change the scope of how South Sudan has been viewed recently by the world,” South Sudan’s Simon Mayen Malok told FIBA.com.
“We want to show the region and the world that something good can come out of South Sudan. We know it is going to be hard against seasoned teams but the challenge excites us and we accept it.
“We plan to go hard and compete at the high level. We are positive that we will do our best and God will do the rest.”
Sudan opened their account with a loss to hosts and defending champions Egypt but have earned some respect from the other nations at the event.
Placed in Group A, alongside hosts Egypt, Kenya and Rwanda, Sudan have a task of making it out of the group to the semifinals.
There are only two slots available for Zone V with Egypt fancied to be one of the two sides to qualify from the zone.
Uganda, who defeated Somalia 94-72 in their first game, are expected to push for the other slot with Rwanda and Kenya both fancying their chances too.
Rwanda are looking to make it back to the Afrobasket having failed to qualify for the 2015 edition in Tunis.