South Sudan off to good start, Kenya face Tanzania
South Sudan announced their intentions to be part of FIBA’s Afro Basketball championship with a massive 114-79 win against Somalia in the opening match of the Zone Five pre-qualifiers at the Nyayo Indoor Gymnasium yesterday.
The first five minutes were balanced with the two sides exchanging leads several times before South Sudan, whose federation is headed by former NBA star Luol Deng, pulled away for a 25-17 lead at the end of the first period.
Sensing danger, the Ajou Deng coached Sudanese upped the tempo to score 35 points against Somalia’s 22 for a 60-39 lead at the break.
Dahil Ahmed’s Somalia collapsed in the second half, allowing the Sudanese to make treys and dunks at will especially in the final quarter.
South Sudan scored 22 points against their opponent’s 26 but the gap was already too big as 28 points from the Sudanese in the final quarter against 18 sealed the win.
“This is a very young team and we suffered the disadvantage of not playing together often as all the players are foreign-based,” said Ahmed.
Meanwhile, Kenya played their opener against Eritrea late last night and will continue their search for the sole ticket to the qualifiers against 156th FIBA ranked Tanzania at 6:30 pm today.