25 August, 2023
10 September
32 Wenyen Gabriel (SSD)
Game Report
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South Sudan had to wait but qualify for 2024 Olympics after beating Angola

MANILA (Philippines) - South Sudan had to wait but they celebrated qualifying directly to the 2024 Olympics as the best placed team from Africa in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. South Sudan rolled past Angola 101-78 to finish first in their Classification 17-32 Group M and the festivities began in earnest when New Zealand beat Egypt in Group N.

Carlik Jones produced another outstanding performance with 26 points, 7 rebounds and a World Cup-tying 15 assists for South Sudan, who defeated Angola in their first-ever meeting for their third victory in Manila.


Turning Point: Angola were playing without leading scorer Bruno Fernando and South Sudan used an early 15-4 run to move ahead by 10 points in the first quarter. South Sudan increased the gap to 16 points at 29-13 and did not let Angola get within 10 points the rest of the way.  

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TCL Player of the Game: Carlik Jones once again made things easy for the TCL Player of the Game voters as the South Sudan point guard again was close to registering the first triple-double in World Cup history. He collected 26 points, 7 rebounds and 15 assists. His final efficiency rating is 40.

Jones tied the great Toni Kukoc for two World Cup records. His 15 assists evened Kukoc's single game assist record from 1994 against China. Jones also collected 10 or more assists in his third game, joining Kukoc from 1994 as the second player to achieve that in a single World Cup tourney.

Stats Don't Lie: South Sudan held Angola to just 32 percent from the floor including 23 percent from long range. The Bright Stars for their part shot 54 percent for the game including 63 percent on two-pointers. South Sudan also an advantage of 28-13 in fast break points and 18-7 in points off turnovers.

Bottom Line: South Sudan can now look forward to making more history next summer as they will play at the 2024 Olympics. Angola's World Cup is also over but they did reach the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

They Said: "Man, it's been amazing. I mean, it's all a new experience for everybody. It's a new country overall and a new team. So we're all just trying to take it all in as a group and just kind of grow together." - South Sudan forward Marial Shayok

"In the first game, we felt like we let one slip away. We just kept fighting.We kept competing each game, day in, day out. And there was another chance for us to make it. We stepped up to the plate and we did what we needed to do and got it done." - South Sudan guard Carlik Jones

"We didn't get to the second round of the World Cup and obviously right now we're just trying to show the future of South Sudan basketball. It’s going to be to be very exciting in the future for people to see. People got to keep their eye out because there is a lot of talent coming out of there."-  South Sudan forward Nuni Omot

"South Sudan were a very strong team. We didn’t start very good and they already went ahead by 14 points early. But we fought hard and the players never gave up. They believed all the time that they could reduce the deficit. They were trying everything but it was not possible. But I am also happy for an African team that is a new country like South Sudan who reached the Olympics." - Angola coach Pep Claros

"I want to thank all my people, all the coaches for everything they did for me. This was my last game with the national team. It was not easy. It was not an easy game. I am not here to give excuses. South Sudan were much better than us .and we have to continue." - Angola center Leonel Paulo

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