Kuany Ngor Kuany goes for a lay up | Credit: FIBA

South Sudan is through to the second round of the FIBA World Cup African Qualifiers after dispatching Rwanda 73-63 at BK Arena on Friday.

Behind a swarming and aggressive defense coupled with a productive offense in the first half, South Sudan built a 20-point lead.

However, Rwanda (0-4) whose offense was stagnant in the first half largely due to South Sudan’s aggressive zone defense that made them fall in love with the 3-point line rose to life late in the second quarter when President Paul Kagame walked into the Arena alongside the Minister of Sports Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju.

Rwanda went on a 7-0 run and the home crowd was alive again. South Sudan (4-0) responded with back-to-back baskets to close out the period leading by 17 (42-25).

The third quarter belonged to Rwanda as they chipped away at the deficit thanks to a momentum-swinging technical to South Sudan’s bench. The home crowd loudly cheered every basket and free throw throughout the ten minutes of basketball. Jean Nshobozwa’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the frame to bring Rwanda to within 4 (48-52) meant the game as a contest was officially on.

Sunday Dech of South Sudan locks up William Robeyns | Credit: FIBA

Rwanda’s William Robeyns opened the fourth quarter from downtown and just like that, it was a one-point game (51-52). However, the hosts were undone by their limping transition defense as Bul Kuol netted three unanswered 3-pointers for South Sudan to restore their double-digit lead.

Cheikh Sarr was forced to call a time out but on return it was South Sudan who went on a 5-0 run, first Nuni Omot with a corner 3 and Sunday Dech with a floater, to put the game to bed.

Bul Kuol (16 points), skipper Kuany Kuany (15), and Nuns Omot (13) scored in double figures for South Sudan while Deng Acuoth pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.

Alex Mpoyo had team-high 15 points for Rwanda while Robeyns added 11 points to go with team-high 8 boards.

Next Up

Rwanda takes on Cameroon today in a must-win (by at least 13 points) to stand a chance of finishing third in the group and advancing to the second round.

South Sudan will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run when they battle African Champions Tunisia who recalled their vets for this window.

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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1 Comment

  1. Congratulations to my home country South Sudan 🇸🇸 sooner am gonna be representing my country too.

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