25 August, 2023
10 September
4 Ehab Saleh (EGY)
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Qualified Team Focus - Egypt: Pharaohs believe in Coach Rana leadership

MIES (Switzerland) - The draw for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, presented by Wanda, will be held in Manila, Philippines, on April 29. It is now time to meet the 32 teams that try to become World Champions in a few months.

Here is the number 55 team in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, five-time FIBA AfroBasket champions Egypt.

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How did they qualify

Egypt had to wait until the February 2022 window to tip off their African Qualifiers - and get started on their quest to return to the World Cup after missing out on 2019. The Egyptian federation in January 2022 brought in Canadian Roy Rana as new head coach to replace Ahmed Marei, who resigned in October.

Egypt head coach Roy Rana

The Pharaohs also had atonement in mind after they had underperformed at the FIBA AfroBasket 2021, where they were eliminated by Guinea in the Round of 16 and finished 11th. Egypt took care of business in the African Qualifiers though and secured their spot in Asia this summer with two games to spare.


Egypt's Group D did not play in the November 2021 window and opened play in February 2022 with a window in Senegal. Things did not start as hoped though as Egypt lost 75-57 to Senegal despite Anas Mahmoud picking up 18 points and 9 rebounds.

Egypt bounced back with a 105-51 blowout of Kenya with seven players scoring in double figures. And the Pharaohs grabbed a second victory in the window by defeating DR Congo 62-51 thanks to Mahmoud recording 16 points and 9 rebounds.


Egypt hosted the July 2022 window in Alexandria and Rana's team celebrated three victories with the home fans. Ehab Saleh scored 22 points in a 76-43 win over Senegal with Assem Marei chipping in 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 7 steals in his first game for Egypt since June 2018.

Egypt followed that with a 72-39 drubbing of Kenya and then beat DR Congo 80-52 to make it 5-1 in the group. Saleh scored 17 points and Marei had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the final group game.


Egypt started their Second Round Group F campaign in August 2022 in Tunisia. In the opener, Egypt rallied from 12 points down to beat the hosts Tunisia 67-61 with Saleh scoring 18 points and Marei collected 15 points and 13 rebounds. That ended Tunisia's 15-game home unbeaten streak dating back to 2015.

Marei was strong again versus Cameroon with 19 points and 9 rebounds in an 86-74 win. Egypt's seven-game winning streak was snapped in the final game of the window though, losing 85-65 to South Sudan. Saleh recorded 22 points and 6 assists in the setback.

Egypt hosted the final window of the African Qualifiers in February 2023 as well, and Saleh scored 23 points and Mahmoud delivered 12 points and 12 rebounds in another win over the 2021 AfroBasket champs Tunisia 71-67.

The victory in Alexandria locked up Egypt's spot in the World Cup as well. Egypt dropped their last two games, losing 71-63 to Cameroon despite Amr Abdelhalim scoring 18 points and Marei picking up 14 points and 12 rebounds.


Abdelhalim was unstoppable in the final game - a 97-77 loss to South Sudan - as he poured in 42 points, setting a new African Qualifiers record for most points in a single game, besting the previous mark of 36 by Jordan Nwora of Nigeria versus Mali in July 2018.

Abdelhalim's 42 points were also the second-most in World Cup Qualifiers history - behind only the 43 points scored by Guna Ra of Korea versus Hong Kong on July 1, 2018.

Best result at the World Cup

Egypt will be playing in their 7th World Cup, including two as United Arab Republic in 1959 and 1970. The country's best result came in the first World Cup in 1950, where Egypt beat Ecuador, Spain, France and Chile to take fifth place.

The country took 11th place of 13 teams in 1959; 13th of 13 teams in 1970, 16th of 16 nations in 1990, 14th of 16 countries in 1994 and 24th of 24 teams in 2014. Egypt have collected just two victories in 33 games over their last five appearances.

Ismael Hafez of Egypt at the 1950 World Cup

Last World Cup appearances

After failing to get a win in 1970 and 1990, Egypt dropped all five of their games in the Group Phase in 1994. They defeated Cuba 69-54 in Classification 13-16 and then lost to Korea 76-69 for 14th place. In 2014, Egypt lost to Serbia, Spain, France, Iran and Brazil by an average of 37.0 points and took 24th place of 24 teams.

Egypt at the 1994 World Cup

Players to watch

Roy Rana has a couple of clear leaders on his team - point guard Ehab Amin and the big man duo of Assem Marei and Anas Mahmoud. And the head coach knows he can rely on that trio to show up on the big stage.

Ehab Saleh

Amr Abdelhalim made his presence known with his 42-point outburst in the African Qualifiers that he can light it up and gives some much-needed scoring help.

Amr Abdelhalim

Rana can also expect to get some good contributions from players like Khaled Abdelgawad, Waleed Aly, Omar Farag, Youssef Aboushousha and Yusuf Shehata. There are also a couple of youngsters who could maybe be brought to the World Cup for the experience such as Karim Hatem Elgizawy.

Qualified Team Focus series

Please check the teams we have already broken down. In the past weeks, before the last qualifications that happened in February 2023, we have ordered them by their position in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike:

Spain, Australia, France, Slovenia, Lithuania, Greece, Italy, Germany, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, USA, Serbia, Brazil, Venezuela, Montenegro, Puerto Rico, Iran, Dominican Republic, China, Latvia, Mexico, GeorgiaJordanJapan, Philippines, Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, and Lebanon.