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22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
25/11/2021
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Everything you need to know about the first window of African Qualifiers

BENGUELA (Angola) - Eight teams, twelve games to be played over three days, and the race for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 is set to get underway for African countries on Friday in Benguela, Angola.

The first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup to be held by multiple countries is too attractive to stay away from, and with that in mind, half of the 16 African teams in race for Indonesia, Japan and Philippines look highly-motivated to embark on the African Qualifiers journey that will run over a 18-month period, finishing in February 2023.

This article brings (or tries to bring) you everything you need to know about the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers.

Since FIBA implemented the new competition system in November 2017, teams need to go through a six-window qualifying tournament that will eventually determine the 32 teams that will compete in the World Cup. In Africa's case, the teams that finish with the best five records will earn the right to represent the continent in the Final Round.

COMPETITION SYSTEM

The first window of the African Qualifiers will see eight teams split in two groups of four each doing battle for the right to advance to the Second Round, but to make it to the Last 12, teams must finish in the top three places from their groups while the teams that finish last will be eliminated.

WHO ARE THE TEAMS ?

Teams in Group A include Cape Verde, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda while Group C is made of Angola, Central African Republic (CAF), Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea.

Teams from Groups B and D will begin their African Qualifiers in the second window in February 2022.

WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE FIRST WINDOW OF THE AFRICAN QUALIFIERS HAPPEN?

The Angolan city of the Benguela will host the first window of the African Qualifiers from November 26-28. 

The Coastal city of Benguela is set to host a major FIBA event for the first time since it organised a set of games of the Group Phase of the AfroBasket 2007.

HOW TO WATCH THE GAMES?

Subject to COVID-19 precautions, fans will be allowed to attend the games at Pavilhao Acacias Rubras. A Box office will be available at the arena.

In the meantime, all games will be shown on subscription-only  LIVE Basketball TV. Fans should check local their national TV Channels for more information about tournament.

CAN NIGERIA BEAT CAPE VERDE? 

If these teams were to be judged by their current FIBA Rankings, Cape Verde (No16 in Africa) - the lowest-ranked in Group A - would have been automatically deemed as outsiders, but this is not what their roster suggests.

With the exception of Walter Tavares,  Patrick Abreu and Keven Coronel, coach Emanuel Trovoada kept most of the roster that reached the Semi-Finals of the AfroBasket 2021, and added shooting guard Shane Da Rosa. 

Cape Verde kept most of their roster from the AfroBasket 2021

The islanders will open their African Qualifiers campaign against Africa's No.1 Nigeria on Friday, November 26. 

And, the last time these Cape Verde and Nigeria faced off, the Islanders beat Nigeria (62-53 at AfroBasket 2007 in Angola) before upsetting a star-studded Nigerian team 79-73 in the AfroBasket 2013 in Abidjan.

Nigeria, meanwhile, have regrouped after a disappointing summer where they finished 0-3 in the Tokyo 2020, and finished 12th in the AfroBasket 2021. 

Team captain Ike Diogu, who hasn't missed a single game in the African Qualifiers 2019, is back; Ekenna Irogebu and Ben Uzoh have rejoined the D'Tigers for the first time since World Cup 2019, and Nigeria seem ready to roar. But first, they need to overcome a highly-motivated Cape Verde team.

ANGOLA'S HOME RECORD

After a successful AfroBasket where they finished second for the first time since 2009, Cote d'Ivoire  is the team to beat.

While the Ivorians will look to start the African Qualifiers in winning ways, they need to end Angola's home unbeaten  run. Angola have never lost a game on home soil.

FIBA