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Historic Wins Solidify South Sudan & Cape Verde as Rising Stars in FIBA World Cup

Published September 21, 2023
8 months ago

Creating a double dose of history for African basketball, South Sudan claimed a commendable 89-69 victory over China in Manila while Cape Verde trumped Venezuela 81-75 in Okinawa, Japan. The victories, a maiden for each team, placed them squarely in the contest for slots in the World Cup's second round.

Despite their status as the two lowest-ranked nations at tournament kickoff, the southeastern nations, ranked 62nd and 64th globally by FIBA, demonstrated their mettle against daunting odds. The triumphs validate the massive efforts invested in developing sports, particularly basketball, in Africa. They also underline the notable role of former NBA player Luol Deng, who helped establish South Sudan's basketball program and serves as president of the country's basketball federation.

Underlining the importance of these victories, Will Tavares, Cape Verde forward, labeled their win as 'big for us, our country and our families' adding that their performance made a statement about their immense heart. The sentiments were echoed by South Sudan's Nuni Omot, etching the journey thus far as 'emotional and amazing'.

Both teams have one final match left in the group stage. South Sudan confronts Serbia, while Cape Verde will compete against Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic and Slovenia. All eyes are on the Paris Olympics qualification, a berth that hinges on their performances in these matches.

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