• Kaunda Chama

African teams clinch semifinal spots

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The Jr. NBA Africa Boys and Girls teams, that are representing the continent in the second Jr. NBA Global Championship, both defeated their opponents and qualified for the International Pool Semifinals tomorrow.

Following a Day of Service and community work on August 8, the teams came back to the ESPN Wide World of Sport in Orlando for the single elimination part of the competition.

The Africa Girls team faced China Girls in the early hours of the afternoon and played like they wanted to make a statement from the start. Led by Ndeye Ndiaye (Senegal; 14 points and 5 rebounds) and Jana Ehab (Egypt; 11 points and 7 rebounds), the Africa team finished the half 22-9 with some spectacular plays from Ndiaye in the second quarter.

The China Girls team bounced back in the third quarter scoring 12 points to Africa’s one, but the Africa team found their offensive rhythm back while staying composed in defense down the stretch. Africa Girls won 39-29.

Marouf Moumine (Cameroon) led the Africa Boys team once again and they quickly found themselves on familiar grounds dominating the second half and finishing 70-36.

Moumine finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists with Dieu Merci Ilonga (DRC) adding 11 points and 10 rebounds and Babacar Djiby Ly adding 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals.

“We didn’t play our best game today, but we won and that’s what matters,” said 14-year old Emmanuel Owonibi of Nigeria who is part of the boys’ team and  has been enjoying his U.S. trip off the court as well . “The experience has been great, because I got to see many places that I have never seen before, like Walt Disney World. I’ve had a lot of fun and it’s been great, Orlando is a great city.”

Africa Girls will play Latin America Girls and the Africa Boys team will face Asia Pacific Boys in the International Pool Semifinals tomorrow morning.

The International Boys Championship Game is 7:30pm CAT tomorrow evening. The International Girls Championship Game will follow at midnight CAT.

The Jr. NBA Global Championship games are broadcast live on Twitch with select Africa team games also available on NBA Africa YouTube.

The Jr. NBA Global Championship 2019 features boys and girls divisions, separated into U.S. and international brackets that begin with round-robin play and continue with single-elimination competition.  The winners of the U.S. and international brackets will play in the global championship games on Aug. 11.

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