Africa basketball teams in final rush to seal ticket to China 2019 World Cup

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-08 00:13:11|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NAIROBI, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- FIBA Africa, the continent's basketball governing body, says two more slots are open for grabs in the campaign for 2019 China World Cup qualification.

FIBA Africa President Hamane Niang says Abidjan has been selected to host the final qualification, which will involve teams from Nigeria, Central African Republic (CAF), Rwanda, Mali, Senegal and the hosts Cote d'Ivoire to determine who join Angola, Nigeria and Tunisia at China 2019. The final qualification in Abidjan will be held from Feb. 22-24.

In a statement by FIBA Africa to the media, Niang said the level of competition has gone up which has prompted the increase in representation at the World Cup, which will be held in eight Chinese cities from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15.

"Cameroon might qualify as the best third-placed team in Africa even though they will not be playing in Abidjan," said Niang on Thursday.

FIBA Africa however, says Cameroon would only qualify if their direct contenders - Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire and Central African Republic - fail to meet certain marks in Abidjan tournament.

Since the implementation of FIBA's new competition system in 2017, two more African teams - making it a total of five - will feature at the World Cup for the first-time ever with the group stage set to expand from 24 to 32 teams.

The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be played in Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan. The World Cup in China will be held in more host cities than ever before, bringing more fans.

The Cameroonians would secure a spot in the World Cup if the third-placed team in Group F has a worse record or a worse point differential of less than 78.

Currently sitting in second place of Group E with 16 points and an encouraging 7-2 record, Senegal are on the pole position and need one more win to snatch one of the two tickets for China. If Senegal win one of their three games, then Cameroon will look at how CAF and Cote d'Ivoire respond.

CAF and Cote d'Ivoire share 13 points each as a result of a 4-5 mark with three games remaining.

The closest Cameroon have been to a world stage competition was the basketball Olympic qualifiers for 2008 Games in Athens, Greece.

However, defeats to Puerto Rico and Croatia ended their aspirations of playing at a world competition.