By Lawrencia Nyamekye Adjei
The exhibition of basketball, music, and fashion took centre stage on Day 2 of the much anticipated Africa Basketball Festival to the cheers and applause of hundreds of fans at the Bukom Boxing Arena while being broadcast to thousands of fans on Ghana’s only and premier 24-hour sports channel, GTV Sports+, as well as Lifestyle TV.
The tournament, as part of the programs celebrating Beyond The Return, an initiative of the Ghana Tourism Authority, had six countries, including Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Liberia, France, and Senegal, participating.
In a keenly awaited day, five matches were on the roaster. Four of which determined which African team qualified for the grand finale.
Team Ghana and their francophone neighbour’s Togo opened the tournament. In a fiercely contested for two halves, Ghana remained supreme and gained qualification for the next round. Ghana won 43-32 against Togo.
The Lone Stars of Liberia and Nigeria were up next and truly represented their countries with their beautiful handles, dunks, and scoring abilities. Though “Naija no dey carry last,” the Nigerians had their tails between their legs after losing 24-19 to Liberia.
All was set for the first international game of the ABF between the USA and France. A more resilient France team came up top as they defeated the USA 19-16. The second leg will be played on Sunday to determine who qualifies for the grand finale.
The losers from the 2 Africa Games thus Nigeria and Togo slugged it out. This time too, Lady Luck didn’t shine on Nigeria, as they lost with just a point difference against Togo.
Team Ghana’s contest against Liberia kept fans on their toes. In the end, Ghana won 40–35 points to win the Africa contest and became the first country to qualify for the grand finale.
The Africa Basketball Festival continues on Sunday with more fashion and music. It will be live on GTV Sports+ and Lifestyle TV.