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South Sudan shocks Tunisia in World Cup qualifier

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Back in September, Tunisia trounced South Sudan, 80-65, in the 2021 AfroBasket Quarter-Finals on the way to their third African title. Fast forward to Saturday, February 26, and South Sudan shocked the African champions Tunisia, 72-64, on Day 2 in Group B of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers in Dakar.
The World Cup African Qualifiers debutant’s win ends Tunisia’s winning streak on the continent of Africa, which lasted since February 2020 during the 2021 AfroBasket Qualifiers.Tunisia had been in difficult situations before in African basketball tournaments.
Remember when they trailed by 18 against Egypt at 2021 AfroBasket, and managed to turn things around in the last two minutes? They almost did it again. After trailing 68-57 with 2:43 minutes left, Tunisia outscored South Sudan 7-4, but the South Sudanese closed the game out by taking as much time as possible from the shot and contesting every one of Tunisia’s possessions.
Stats don’t lie: South Sudan stepped on the court knowing that beating Tunisia would require a tremendous team effort, and they played as a unit, which allowed them to lead in all but 24 seconds of the game.
After scoring just 55 points in Friday’s triumph over Cameroon, Tunisia struggled to create open shots, mainly due to South Sudan’s aggressive defense game.
It’s a major morale booster for South Sudan, a team that continues to make strides in the African basketball scene. If they beat DR Congo on Sunday, they will have a good chance to progress to the Second Round of the African Qualifiers, and become a contender for one of the tickets to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

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