22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
6 Silvio Sousa (ANG)
to read

Returning stars for final games of the World Cup African qualifiers


ABIDJAN (Cote d'Ivoire) - Every team participating in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers will need their best players to be ready for the closing window next week in Alexandria and Luanda.

FIBA.basketball looks at players who can improve their teams and their own chances of making the trip to the World Cup.

Silvio De Sousa (Angola)

Most Valuable Player of the 2016 FIBA U18 African Championship, Silvio De Sousa hasn't played for his country men's team since the 2017 FIBA AfroBasket.

After collegiate basketball career, the 24-year-old began his professional career last year in France's PRO A, where he currently suits up for Chorale Roanne.

A 2.06m (6ft 9in) forward with a terrific athleticism, De Sousa could be a massive for Angola if he's available.

Salah Mejri (Tunisia)

The Tunisians missed their star big man in a 67-61 home loss to Egypt in the penultimate window last year in Monastir due to an injury.

He would also miss his team's remaining games against Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The former AfroBasket MVP has been included in Tunisia's 20-man squad for the final qualifying window in Group F.

The 36-year-old averages team-highs of 14 points and 9 rebounds per game.

The North Africans, who are in fourth place in Group F with a 5-4 record, will count on the former Dallas Mavericks and Real Madrid player to pick up where he left off before being derailed by injury. 

Brandon Davies (Uganda)

Davies needed only three games to show his worth for Uganda, and if he's available for the Silverbacks' final three games - as shown on the preliminary squad - he will add extra bonus for the East African team.

Right at the beginning of the African in November 2021, the former FC Barcelona power forward did a bit of everything for the Silverbacks. From running plays to protecting the basket, the former NBA player was Uganda's key factor in Benguela.

But, the naturalised spot was subsequently filled in by Ishmail Wainright. 

Davies has documented his contribution to Uganda with two double-doubles in three games. Davies has been instrumental for Uganda.

Adjehi Baru (Cote d'Ivoire)

The Ivorian big man, who last year suited up for Burundian club, Urunani in the Road To BAL qualifiers, has been recalled to the national team.

Baru, who last played for Cote d'Ivoire at the 2019 World Cup, is a solid rebounder and rim protector and score points in the paint and has a decent shot from behind the arc.

Group E leaders Ivory Coast have already qualified for the 2023 World Cup, and Baru, if selected for the 12-man squad, has the opportunity to showcase his abilities.

These are attributes he can use to convince the Ivorian selectors that he is worthy of another World Cup appearance.

Jeff Xavier (Cape Verde)

Xavier came out of retirement to help give the islanders a final push towards the global extravaganza.

His 12.7 points per game at the qualifiers have helped place Cape Verde in a solid position to try and qualify for the World Cup.

Xavier, who was part of the Blue Sharks team that finished in fourth place at the 2021 AfroBasket, has a huge amount of experience.

But will it be enough to help Cape Verde qualify out Group E with a ticket to Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia in August?