Basketball squad leaves, targets glory in Mali

By Sulayman Bah

Gambia national basketball team has left the shores of the country for destination Mali where they will make a Basketball squad leaves, targets glory in Malireturn to international competition after thirty-seven years.

The five-man delegation including players, assembled by coach Foday Singhateh, will be taking part in the FIBA Zone II 3on3 basketball tournament in Mali.

The squad left yesterday via Brussels Airlines after funding from Gambia National Olympic Committee while government volunteered to foot the bill of players’ allowances.

The Mali event dubbed, Zone II 303, in its first edition this year being staged by International Basketball Federation, will be Gambia’s first appearance for over three decades. In what will sure be a debut show for the assembled crop of young starlets, the West African nation is audaciously targeting reaching at least the finals.

Such bold plans might be too a high a feat to attain for a side who hadn’t competed at international level for over three decades but Gambia Basketball Association president Mohamadou Musa Njie is unfazed and buoyed.

‘We have been playing for three years 3on3 with support from the US embassy and so the boys are capable of performing,’ Njie told Foroyaa Sport this week adding ‘the second round, semis or finals is one thing we want to make’

The Bamako championship is a two-day event beginning 14th November.

The squad comprises: Muhammed Kebbeh (SK West), Cherno Bah (YMCA), Abdoulie Jarju (YMCA), Alasan Mbowe (Brikama) and Coach Foday Singhateh.

Gambia, rankedT-94, last starred in an international Basketball championship in 1978 in the African Championship where they finished 9th.

The outfit lost all its matches in Group A to opponents, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Mauritania.