By Doaa Farid
Egypt has secured a place at the FIBA World Cup 2014 for the first time since 1994, after defeating Senegal 70-63 in the semi-finals of the FIBA Africa Championship on Friday. However, the team lost the championship against Angola 57-40, during the final matchup in Abidjan, Ivory Coastl on Saturday.
The goal of reaching the next year’s World Cup in Spain drew nearer when Egypt reached the semi-finals by a 74-73 victory over Cape Verde in 28 August.
According to the international federation’s regulations, the teams that occupy the first three places will be qualified directly to the World Cup.
Despite losing three group-stage games against Ivory Coast, Senegal and Algeria, the Egyptian national basketball team rebounded by defeating Tunisia in the knockout stage 77-67 to meet Cape Verde in the quarter finals. The format of the tournament dictates that all sixteen teams participating in the tournament advance to the knockout stage, so that the defeated teams at this round can be ranked by their preliminary round results and play placement games.
Meanwhile, Assem Marie, 21, was named as the Africa Championship’s best rebounder player. Marie stepped up in Senegal’s match with 22 points and 17 rebounds to lead the winners.
Angola marked their seventh victory in the last eight editions of the tournament. Carlos Morais led the team with scoring 21 points and 8 rebounds.
“An external camp for the players will be provided in preparation for next year’s World Cup,” said Magdy Abo Ferikha, the chairman of Egyptian Basketball Federation to Anadolu News Agency, adding that the coaching succeeded in depending on youth players in the continental tournament to give them the experience needed to get them ready for the World Cup.
The Egyptian national basketball team joined the FIBA in 1934, and played in 1994’s World Cup in Canada. The Egyptian Basketball Federation has 109 registered clubs with 10,212 licensed male players, while the licensed female players are 2,365. Egypt is ranked the 36th in FIBA rankings.