Basketball: Egypt eyes first World Championship place in 20 years

Ahram Online, Wednesday 28 Aug 2013

Egypt’s basketball team continues its surprise run in the FIBA Africa Championship after reaching the semi-final on Wednesday

Egypt's Assem Marie (Photo: FIBA official website)

Egypt continued their fairytale run at the FIBA Africa Championship in the Ivory Coast after reaching the semi-final with a 74-73 victory over Cape Verde on Wednesday.

Sherif Abdallah led Egypt with 18 points and Haitham Kamal pulled in 11 rebounds as Egypt, who won the last of their five titles in 1983, booked a last-four spot for the first time since 2003.

The Pharaohs defied the odds after making a poor start to the Africa Championship that saw them lose to hosts Ivory Coast, Senegal and Algeria in their three group-stage games.

Egypt remarkably recovered from the disappointing start to record a surprising victory over title holders Tunisia before beating Cape Verde in an exciting last-eight game.

They will have to beat favourites Senegal in the semi-final if they are to reach the World Cup, which will take place in Spain next year, for the first time since 1994.

Egypt were the dominant force in Africa in the 1960s and 70s but suffered a dip in form in the subsequent decades. They finished 11th at the previous edition of the Africa Championship in Madagascar in 2011.

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