Libya aims to end 16-year AfroBasket drought


In a bid to break a 16-year absence from the FIBA AfroBasket tournament, Libya’s basketball team is gearing up for a crucial showdown against Morocco in the Zone 1 AfroBasket Pre-Qualifiers, set to take place between February 18-20 in Monastir, Tunisia.

Mohamed Sadi, the team’s captain, expressed optimism about their chances, emphasizing a shift in approach. “We are fully prepared and ready to play every game till the end and hopefully we can make it happen,” Sadi remarked, highlighting the team’s determination to reclaim their position in African basketball.

Libya’s last appearance in the AfroBasket dates back to 2009 when they hosted the tournament. Since then, their journey back into the fold has been fraught with challenges. However, with a strong showing in the 2023 Arab Championship, where they secured a commendable second place, the team is buoyed with confidence as they embark on this crucial phase of their journey.

The upcoming two-game series against Morocco looms large as a pivotal test for Libya. A victory would see them progress to the next stage of the qualifiers, where they would join the likes of Nigeria, Cape Verde, and Uganda in Group B of the 2025 AfroBasket Qualifiers.

For Sadi and his teammates, the significance of this opportunity cannot be overstated. “It means a lot for us, Libyans, to qualify after a long time. It’s not going to be an easy ride but we are going to give our best,” Sadi affirmed, acknowledging the challenges ahead while remaining steadfast in their commitment to success.

Reflecting on the broader context of Libya’s journey, Sadi spoke of the resilience and determination of the team amidst the backdrop of years of conflict. “Our country has been in war for ten years. We came a long way… so this gives us a lot of motivation to work harder and give our best,” he shared, highlighting the significance of basketball as a unifying force for the nation.

Despite the hurdles, Sadi maintains a focused approach, emphasizing the importance of taking each game as it comes. “Our main focus now is on the upcoming games… We respect every opponent that we are going to play against,” he stressed, underscoring the team’s commitment to the process.

As Libya sets its sights on ending its AfroBasket drought, Sadi remains a symbol of hope and determination for Libyan basketball. Having plied his trade in the inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League (BAL), he brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the team, epitomizing their aspirations for a brighter future on the continent’s basketball stage.

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