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Historic Mali win puts African Champs in 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup Final Four



Historic Mali Win Puts African Champs In 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup Final Four

African Champions Mali have made history.

Playing in only their third FIBA U19 World Cup — Mali defeated Puerto Rico 84-74 in the quarter-finals of the 2019 World cup to become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals.

16 year-old (July 13, 2002) phenom Oumar Ballo (6’10, 7’6″ foot wing-span) continued to turn heads with his second-consecutive, big-time double-double and finished with 21 points, 17 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 2 steals.

Oumar Ballo Historic Mali Basketball Win Puts African Champs In 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup Final Four
Oumar Ballo bangs home a thunderous two-hand dunk against Puerto Rico at 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup – Photo FIBA

Ballo is averaging an eye-popping 18.7 points, 13.7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals and 2 assists in three games after missing the first two games including Mali’s signature 71-70 win over defending champions Canada

Mali fought-off a sluggish start and hot shooting Puerto Rico team that controlled the tempo and trailed 21-15 after the first-quarter.

From there it was a Mali, who quickly turned the second-quarter and the rest of the game in to a block and dunk party outscoring their North American counterparts 22-12 and grab a 37-33 lead.

Mali Basketball Head Coach Kaba Kante Historic Mali Win Puts African Champs In 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup Final Four
Mali Basketball Head Coach Alhadji Dicko at 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup – Photo: FIBA

Head coach Alhadji Dicko ordered more of the same recipe in the third-quarter as Mali recorded a total of 9 dunks and 9 blocked shots in the 10-point win. Mali outscored Puerto Rico 22-12 in the third-quarter for a comfortable 59-45 lead. The margin hit a game-high 20 points at 65-45 before a late effort from Puerto Rico cut the deficit to single digits, but never threatening Mali’s historic win.

The victory also gives Mali the bragging rights of having the highest placement by a African nation at the U19 level. The previous best finish by an African team was 11th-place and established by Nigeria and Egypt.

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Fousseyni Drame Historic Mali Win Puts African Champs In 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup Final Four
Fousseyni Drame throws down one of Mali 9 dunks in the win over Puerto Rico at 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup – Photo: FIBA

Fousseyni Drame paced Mali with 22 points and 4 steals, twin brother Hassan Drame had a strong all-round game out with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.

Siriman Kanoute added 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists but was responsible for 10 of Mali’s 29 turnovers. Abdramane Camara also contribute with 7 points and 8 rebounds.

Mali (4-1) will now play the winner of France/Canada for a shot at advancing to their first-ever FIBA U19 championship game.

Mali finished dead last, in 16th-place at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Egypt, Cairo — dropping all 7 games and losing by an average of 21 points including wide-margin losses to Canada 91-42, USA 117-69, Spain 62-43, New Zealand 87-63, Angola 73-54. Mali’s two closest contest were against Japan 76-73 and Iran 70-61.

Mali’s other FIBA U19 appearance was in 2007 when they finished 15 out of 16 teams with a 1-4 recording a 89-81 win over Puerto Rico.

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Record 17 Canadian NBA players invited to 2019 FIBA World Cup Training Camp



Cory Joseph Leads Canada Basketball 2016 Olympic Qualifying Roster

Canada Basketball has released it’s highly anticipated 2019 FIBA World Cup training camp roster.

Loaded with 29 high-skilled Canadians — 17 currently under NBA contracts, the roster is Canada’s best-assembled talent of all-time and represents the country’s best shot at reaching the podium at the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup in China — and potentially earning a return trip to the 2020 Olympics games in Tokyo.

Tough decisions will need to be made by recently announced head coach Nick Nurse who will have the difficult task of cutting multiple NBA players for the first time in order to finalize the final 12-man roster that is expected to be committed to the goal from training camp through the World Cup.

2019 SMNT Training Camp Roster

Top Canadian Basketball players not invited

Record 17 Canadian NBA players invited to 2019 FIBA World Cup Training Camp
Andrew Wiggins absent from FIBA 2019 World Cup

Other Canadian NBA players under contract but absent from the list included Andrew Wiggins (Twolves), Anthony Bennett (Houston Rockets), Kyle Alexander (Miami Heat) and Knicks rookie Ignas Brazdeikis — a dual-citizen that is expected to opt to play for Lithuania. Other former NBA players omitted from the list include Andrew Nicholson, a 2012 draft-pick, 19th overall selection of the Orlando Magic and Olivier Hanlan a former 2015 second-round pick of the San Antonio Spurs.

Canada will kick-off a short 3-day training camp from August 4-6 at the OVO Athletic Centre in Toronto before embarking on a loaded exhibition schedule that features two games on home soil against Nigeria and a final marquee-matchup against the USA on August 26th.

2019 Canadian Senior Men’s National Team Schedule

August 4-6 Training Camp OVO Athletic Centre – Toronto, ON
August 7 Canada vs. Nigeria (Exhibition) 7:00 PM Mattamy Athletic Centre – Toronto, ON
August 9 Canada vs. Nigeria (Exhibition) 8:00 PM Bell MTS Place – 
Winnipeg, MB
August 16 Canada vs. Australia (Exhibition) 5:30 AM RAC Arena – 
Perth, Australia
August 17 Canada vs. Australia (Exhibition) 5:30 AM RAC Arena – 
Perth, Australia
August 20 Canada vs. New Zealand (Exhibition) 5:30 AM Quaycentre – 
Sydney, Australia
August 21 Canada vs. New Zealand (Exhibition 5:30 AM Quaycentre – 
Sydney, Australia
August 26 Canada vs. USA (Exhibition) 5:30 AM Qudos Bank Arena – Sydney, Australia
September 1 Canada vs. Australia
3:30 AM
FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019
September 3 Canada vs. Lithuania 7:30 AM FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019
September 5 Canada vs. Senegal 3:30 AM FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019

Major time zone difference

Outside of the two home games against Nigeria, Canadian basketball fans should brace themselves and get ready for early morning basketball depending on which coast you reside in. Sydney, Perth, Australia and China are a whopping 14, 12 and 12 hours ahead of Canadian eastern time zone – meaning early morning Tim Hortons to support the national pride.

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USA ends Mali’s historic run win 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup Gold Medal



Usa Ends Malis Historic Run Win Record 7th Fiba U19 World Cup Gold Medal

The United States of America are back on top of the FIBA U19 World Cup.

Two years after finishing a record low, third-place in Cairo Egypt — the Americans defeated and ended rising African champion’s historic basketball run with a 93-79 victory over Mali to claim the 2019 U19 World Cup in Heraklion, Greece.

The USA fought off a hot and confident Mali squad playing in their first ever FIBA World Cup finals to win their record seventh FIBA U19 gold medal.

Champions Usa Ends Malis Historic Run Win Record 7th Fiba U19 World Cup Gold Medal
USA 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup Champions – Photo: FIBA

Mali got off to an outstanding start on the strength of Hassan Drame’s 9 points, as Mali ripped off a 11-0 run and took a early 11-3 lead with 6:58 to play. The USA pounded Mali on the offensive glass pulling down 13 offensive rebounds on their way to out-rebounding the African side 19-12 in the quarter to quickly close the gap as Mali led 22-20 lead after 10 minutes.

The USA went to a 3-2 zone early in the second-quarter and slowly grinded Mali out with tight defense and relentless offensive rebounding to finally take a 37-36 lead, their first since leading 3-0. A late three-pointer, the USA first of the half, put the Americans ahead for good at with a 42-40 at half-time.

Scott Barnes Jr Flexing Usa Ends Malis Historic Run Win 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup Gold Medal
USA Scott Barnes Jr flexing against Mali at 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup Gold Medal game -Photo: FIBA

The USA opened the third-quarter with a 14-0 run, holding Mali scoreless for the first 3:00 minutes of the second-half and forcing Mali head coach Alhadji Dicko to call a time-out to restore orders as the lead swell to double-digits at 54-40.

Mali showed their resiliency and pride, fighting until the final whistle to close a game-high 20 point lead to single digits at 84-77 — on a made pull-up three pointer by Martin Diakite with 4:11 to go. The USA clamped down, allowing Mali just two points the rest of the way for the 14 win.

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Cade Cunningham Usa Ends Malis Historic Run Win Record 7th Fiba U19 World Cup Gold Medal
Cade Cunningham throws down a major dunk over Oumar Balla – Photo: FIBA

Undeclared point guard Cade Cunningham paced a loaded USA offense with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and had several highlight reel dunks. The 6’7″ Montverde Academy standout holds offers from Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Virginia and a long-list of major suitors. Jalen Suggs added 15 points and 5 rebounds. Scott Barnes Jr. finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds and tournament MVP Reginald Perry also finished in double figures with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

Mail had four players in double-figures led by continuous all-around talent of Hassan Drame with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists. Karim Coulibaly (Pittsburgh Panthers) showed a nice soft touch around the rim with 17 points and 3 blocks. Gonzaga commit Oumar Ballo came-up short of fourth straight double-double and finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Ballo, a sure-shot NBA prospect showcased multiple Point guard Siriman Kanoute capped off a stellar tournament with 16 points , 4 rebounds and 3 steals.

2019 Fiba U19 World Cup All Stars
2019 FIBA U19 World Cup All Stars – Photo: FIBA

2019 FIBA U19 MVP & All-Stars

Joel Ayiyi – France
Oumar Ballo – Mali
Tyrese Haliburton – USA
Siriman Kanoute – Mali
Reginald Perry – USA

The USA had previously beaten Mali twice at the 2017 World Cup — 117-69 and 118-56, a 55-point margin of victory.

2019 FIBA U19 Final Standings

1USA 7-0
2Mali 5-2
3France 5-2
4Lithuania 4-3
6Puerto Rico 2-5
9Australia 5-2
11Argentina 5-2
12Latvia 1-6
13New Zealand 4-3
14Philippines 1-6
15Senegal 1-6
16China 1-6

Boxscore USA vs. Senegal

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