After a perfect 3-0 record in the latest qualification window in Abidjan and Monastir, Cote d’Ivoire became the African first team to qualify for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, leaving four tickets available for the continent.
Where does each team stand just over a week after Window 4 of the African Qualifiers concluded?
NOTE: The movement from the previous August rankings is reflected in the brackets.
COTE D’IVOIRE #1
- 7-0 in Group E; 5th in the FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike.
The Ivorians have reached the pinnacle of their basketball over the last decade by winning all of their African Qualifiers games and becoming the first team on the continent to qualify for next year’s World Cup – with three games remaining.
Despite playing their last six games at home, Cote d’Ivoire’s 6-0 record was far from easy. Angola, Nigeria, Guinea, Cape Verde, Uganda, and the Central African Republic all forced the Ivorians to bring their A-game, and they did so admirably, despite some major changes that the team faced ahead of W4.
Cote d’Ivoire will compete in the World Cup for the second time in a row.
#2 SOUTH SUDAN
- 8-1 in Group F; 11th in the FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike.
The Bright Stars of South Sudan tasted bittersweet in Window 4 of the African Qualifiers in Monastir. A 3-0 record in the Tunisian coastal city of Monastir would have qualified them for the World Cup, but a 2-1 record puts them just one win away from the pinnacle of South Sudan’s still-young basketball history.
Do they have the ability to make history? Absolutely.
- FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike: 6th with a 7-2 record in Group F.
Egypt has implemented a brand new style of play that is based on aggressiveness on both ends of the floor and competition for every ball possession, as evidenced by Egypt’s 85-65 loss to South Sudan. Roy Rana’s team never gave up, even when they trailed by 24 points at one point.
Egypt’s first World Cup appearance since 2014 will be put to the test in Window 5. South Sudan, Tunisia, and Cameroon may have a say in Egypt’s World Cup ambitions, but Egypt remains in complete control of its destiny.
- FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike: 3rd with a 5-2 record in Group E.
For the first time since November 2018, when they hosted Window 5 of the 2019 World Cup African Qualifiers in Luanda, the Angolans won four consecutive games. Is this a true resurgence of the former African? It could be.
The fact that Angola is competing with a mostly new squad and still playing solid and competitive basketball is a huge morale booster, and it’s everything they needed to stay in contention for a sixth consecutive World Cup appearance.
If Angola qualifies for a sixth consecutive World Cup, it will be safe to say that the eleven-time African champions are back after two modest AfroBasket appearances in 2017 and 2021.
- 6-3 in Group F; 4th in the FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike.
Senegal’s World Cup African Qualifiers campaign appears to have been relaunched with victories over South Sudan, Tunisia, and Cameroon last week in Monastir. How did they manage it? Senegal improved their three-point shooting; they treated every game as a do-or-die situation; and, of course, Brancou Badio and Gorgui Dieng proved to be key players for Senegal.
Senegal should maintain the same attitude in Window 5 of the African Qualifiers in order to qualify for a third consecutive World Cup appearance.
CAPE VERDE #6
- 4-3 in Group E; 10th in the FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike.
A 1-2 record in W4 hurts Cape Verde’s World Cup hopes, but it’s not the end of the world. Coach Emanuel Trovoada must find immediate solutions to his team’s struggles in W4 and make necessary adjustments. A deeper bench is critical to keeping Cape Verde in contention for the World Cup.
- 5-4 in Group F; 2nd in the FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike.
What comes next for the African champions? Dirk Bauermann was fired as Tunisia’s head coach after the final game of the World Cup, but the country’s problems run much deeper.
To begin, the Eagles of Carthage must be able to play without 36-year-old Salah Mejri (his ejection after two technical fouls against Egypt harmed them); Tunisia’s bench – which includes veterans and African champions Mohamed Hadidane, Mourad El Mabrouk, and Mokthar Ghayaza – must be more productive; and, most importantly, the Tunisians must be able to match or overcome their opponents’ athleticism and fast-
Whoever the new head coach is, there is plenty of room for improvement for Tunisia, whose World Cup qualification is more in doubt than ever.
DR. CONGO #8
- 4-5 in Group F; 13th in the FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike.
A 0-3 score hasn’t put an end to the Congolese World Cup dream, but it has made it much more difficult. Nobody wants to get to this stage of the competition and have to rely on the results of other teams, but that is the case for DR Congo.
- 3-4 in Group E; 1st in the FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike
Nigeria had a 9-0 record by this point in the 2019 World Cup African Qualifiers and was one of two teams, along with Tunisia, to have qualified for the China match.
However, Nigeria’s current 3-4 record appears to be influenced by three different head coaches (Julius Nwosu, Alan Major, and Mfon Udofia) over the last nine games, as well as a number of new players and an apparent lack of team chemistry.
Last week’s losses in Abidjan to Angola and Cote d’Ivoire were a major setback for Nigeria.
Making it to the Indonesia-Japan-Philippines showpiece has become a difficult but not impossible task for D’Tigers.
- 2-7 in Group F; 7th in the FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike.
Cameroon’s victory over DR Congo in Group F’s opener in Monastir was huge, but they failed to capitalize on it, finishing W4 with a 1-2. Cameroonians have already begun to discuss rebuilding the team and preparing for future major competitions.
- FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike: 17th with a record of 1-6 in Group E.
Guinea’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup are almost non-existent, but defeating Uganda in a hard-fought game was significant for a team that reached the AfroBasket Quarter-Finals in 2021.
- Record: 1-7 in Group E; 14th in the FIBA World Ranking (Africa) presented by Nike.
The Silverbacks competed hard throughout W4, but a lack of depth cost the East Africans their last four African qualifiers games.
*The power rankings are completely subjective and in no way represent a true, accurate ranking system. All comments are solely the author’s.
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