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22 November, 2021
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09/11/2021
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African Qualifiers: Five must-watch games in November window

ABIDJAN (Cote d'Ivoire) - The up-coming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers will have a number of intriguing match-ups. Here are five games that basketball fans should mark down to make sure they watch.

COTE D'IVOIRE v ANGOLA, November 26 - Group C

                                                        Angola and Cote d'Ivoire last faced off in the Semi-Finals of the AfroBasket 2013 in Abidjan

The home team Angola gets their qualifying campaign going with a big game against Cote d'Ivoire - a showdown with some serious history. Angola beat The Elephants in the Final of the FIBA AfroBasket 2009 and the Semi-Finals of the AfroBasket 2013.

Angola however crashed out in the 2021 AfroBasket Quarter-Finals against Senegal, who were then ousted by Cote d'Ivoire in the Semi-Finals. Cote d'Ivoire, for their part, failed to win their first continental title since 1985 as they lost to Tunisia in the Final.

While Angola have reached the last five FIBA Basketball World Cups and eight of the last nine, Cote d'Ivoire are hoping to reach the global showcase for the third time in the last four editions.

NIGERIA v MALI, November 27 - Group A

 
Nigeria have had Mali's number of late winning 81-73 at the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 as well as twice in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers - 82-59 and 93-53 in 2018.

Mali have become a powerhouse at the youth level in Africa but have yet to translate that to the senior team. Some of those young players who helped Mail to succeed on the continental stage are starting to reach the senior national team, and a win over Nigeria would be a big boost in morale after going winless at AfroBasket earlier this year.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC v COTE D'IVOIRE, November 27 - Group C

Central African Republic (CAF) and Cote d'Ivoire will recall their serious battles in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers in which CAF defeated The Elephants twice in the First Group Phase - 69-60 and 63-62 in overtime.

 

But Cote d'Ivoire ended up advancing to China 2019 over CAF though as they finished third in the Second Round group stage over Central African Republic's fourth place. CAF will be hungry to show they should have gone to China.

UGANDA v CAPE VERDE, November 27 - Group A

 
This will be a showdown of two teams in general on the rise in African basketball. Cape Verde did not qualify for FIBA AfroBasket 2017 and then they beat Angola and hosts Rwanda at AfroBasket 2021 before knocking off Uganda in the Quarter-Finals and eventually finishing fourth. That was Cape Verde's top showing since third place in 2007 in Angola.

Uganda surprised Nigeria in the Qualification to Quarter-Finals at AfroBasket 2021 to already lock up their best-showing ever. But they fell short in the final eight, losing 79-71 to Cape Verde and heading home.

The Silverbacks will be ready to go at Cape Verde again and look for success.

UGANDA v NIGERIA, November 28 - Group A

 
This game could be a major test for Uganda and see how they respond to three games in three days. They will also be facing a hungry Nigeria team.

D'Tigers comfortably beat Uganda twice in the FIBA World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers - 109-66 and 102-86. But the Silverbacks pulled the surprise at FIBA AfroBasket 2021, defeating Nigeria in the Qualification to Quarter-Finals 80-68. That will not sit well with the Nigerians, who with that loss failed to finish in the top eight in an AfroBasket in which they competed for the first time since 1980.

 

FIBA