South Sudan players during the playing of the National Anthem before the game against Senegal | Credit: FIBA

South Sudan officially became the second African Country to qualify for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The side went into the final window in need of just one win to make the global competition on the first time of asking.

And in their first game of the final window of the qualifiers, South Sudan beat Senegal 83-75 to seal qualification for the August 25 to September 10 event that will be hosted by Philipines.

South Sudan joins Ivory Coast who qualified during the previous window of the campaign.

Power forward Nuni Omot led South Sudan with a team-high 26 points to go with 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Shooting guard Bul Kuol (12 points) and center Koch Deng Aguer Bar (11 points). came in handy on the historic afternoon.

South Sudan players pose for a team photo before the game against Senegal | Credit: FIBA

Senegal who won the first meeting between the sides and had an outside chance of making the global showpiece as they need to win all three games in this window started the game well as they never fell far behind.

In fact, Ngagne Diop’s charges had a four-point (63-59) going into the last quarter. However, Omot quickly erased the deficit at the start of the period with a lay-up and a couple of throws before Koch Deng put South Sudan in the lead.

Shooting guard Brancou Badio who led Senegal’s fight leveled the game at 65 and big man Youssou Ndoye put the side ahead with a pair of throws.

Turning Point

Omot was sent to the line with just under 6 minutes to play and hit both throws to tie the game at 67. Skipper Kuany Kuany drove to the hole and sparked a 10-0 run and there was no way back for Senegal who trailed by 10 with 2 minutes to play.

Brancou Badio (with the ball) was a handful for South Sudan | Credit: FIBA

Badio finished with a game-high 29 points to go with 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Ndoye the other Senegal player to score in double figures had 17 points and 9 boards.

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

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