South Sudan remained on the perfect track in their pursuit of a ticket to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 after dispatching Tunisia 75-61 on Saturday night.
The South Sudanese went into the match-up unbeaten with four wins (including the 72-64 win over Tunisia five months ago) from as many Group B games while the African champions were looking to get one back on their opponents.
South Sudan started slow with Tunisia controlling the opening ten minutes 20-14. True to their game of running, spacing, and shooting, South Sudan quickly erased the six-point deficit early in the second quarter and by mid-third quarter, they had an 8-point cushion that they maintained going into the final frame.
Tunisia, through guards Michael Roll (21 points) and Omar Abada, tried to rally back early in the fourth quarter but the young, athletic and entertaining South Sudan was unfazed and responded to every little run Tunisia tried to make.
Point guard Sunday Dech (15 points & 8 assists) controlled the pace of the game perfectly while Deng Acuoth (6 points & 11 rebounds), Nuni Omot (16 points) and Kuany Ngor Kuany (12 points & 5 rebounds) anchored the interior defence well with help from Koch Deng Aguer Bar that kept vets Salah Mejri (12 points & 9 rebounds), Radhouane Slimane (5 points) and Makram Ben Romdhane (3 points) at bay.
Mareng Gatkuoth (12 points) was perfect from beyond the arc, Bul Kuol knocked down important treys while Padiet Wang’s reverse dunk got everyone inside the arena on their feet.
The first round of the qualifiers wraps up today with South Sudan taking on Cameroon in the last game of the day while Tunisia plays Rwanda.