13 - 23
July 2023
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New stars born as FIBA U16 Women's African Championship concludes

MONASTIR (Tunisia) - That Mali, the eight-time champions, and Egypt would be the dominant sides at the 2023 FIBA U16 Women's African Championship, held in Monastir, Tunisia, was never in doubt.

The two countries have played in six of the eight Finals since the competition’s inception in 2009, the North Africans missing out in 2015 when they finished 7th and 2017 when they settled for bronze. Nigeria and Angola settled for silver in the two editions respectively.

Egypt v Mali, July 22, 2023

For the third time in a row, Mali denied Egypt with a 57-56 score, continuing their unbeaten run to eight titles.

In the 2021 edition the West Africans had won the match-up by three points in a 68-65 outcome; the edition before that it was 84-48; progress for Egypt.

The only other time the Egyptians have come this close was 2013 when the side lost 62-61 in Maputo. In 2011 they lost 66-54 at home and 78-64 in Bamako at the inaugural championship in 2009.

Both finalists earned tickets to the 2024 FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup, which will be the 8th edition of the biennial international women's youth basketball championship, to be hosted in Mexico from 13 to 21 July 2024.

As such the continent is eager to watch their new stars, born in Tunisia during the nine-day competition.

Assitan Diarisso

The first on this list is the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), 14-year-old, Assitan Diarisso who made her presence felt, leading Mali to victory with her exceptional shooting ability.

With averages of 23 points and 4.8  rebounds per game, Diarisso showcased maturity beyond her years, proving to be a formidable force on the court.

Others include Mali's number one playmaker, 15-year-old Tenin Diarra, who averaged 3.5 assists per game. She averaged 9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, solidifying her reputation as a versatile performer for the Malian team.

15-year-old Ana Servico recorded an impressive five double-digit performances out of six games for Angola and was a driving force behind her country's success. With averages of 18.5 points and 7 rebounds per game, Servico proved to be an invaluable asset and a promising talent for the Southern African country's basketball.

Injy Amr Elghayesh

Egyptian duo Injy Amr Elghayesh and Khadiga Abouelghait, who also made it to the team of the tournament, will be a pair to watch in Mexico. 

Walking in the footsteps of Jana El Alfy who emerged top scorer at the just-concluded FIBA U19 Women's U19 Basketball World Cup with 150 points for 21.4 points per game, Elghayesh averaged an impressive 15.3 points per game, consistently reaching double digits in all matches.

Abouelghait was a crucial asset for Egypt in the paint contributing double-digit points in four out of six matches.

Meanwhile, Angola, who were making a return to the competition having missed the 2021 event, managed to repeat their 2019 heroics where they won bronze, finishing behind Mali and Egypt.

Angola v Tunisia, July 22, 2023

Against hosts Tunisia, Angola won 50-43 for their fifth bronze in the 8th edition of the tournament. Their best finish came in 2017 when they won silver. They have finished fifth once, that being the lowest they have gone.

Uganda, who had their best performance when they finished fourth in the 2021 edition, went two slots behind, this time missing out on the final four and going on to lose to Morocco 65-56 in the fifth-place playoff.

Rwanda finished 7th with a convincing 54-43 win over Guinea who ended the championship with a 0-6 record.

1. Mali (6-0)
2. Egypt (5-1)
3. Angola (3-3)
4. Tunisia (3-3)
5. Morocco (3-3)
6. Uganda (2-4)
7. Rwanda (1-5)
8. Guinea (0-6)
Nigeria (withdrew)