By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
MANILA, Philippines –With both opponents already out of the second round, the FIBA World Cup contest in Group D between Egypt and Mexico was all about the – slim – chances of a spot in the Olympic Qualifiers.
For Egypt, this motivation and of course pride was enough for an impressive 100-72 win.
It was the first win of Egypt on the World Cup stage since 1994 when the tournament was held in Canada and the Egyptians beat Cuba.
Big man Patrick Gardner who has signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Nets, stole the show with 20 points and seven rebounds, Ehab Amin with 22 points and 10 assists was the MVP of the game, while Assem Marei added 16 points.
Egypt started the game with a 30-16 first quarter and never looked back against disappointing Mexico.
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The heirs of Gustavo Ayon couldn’t recover after trailing big, despite 21 points by Pako Cruz plus 21 more by Joshua Ibarra.
Egypt head coach Roy Rana admitted that the motivation of his team was big for two reasons: “We’ll always have the side of our eye looking at what everybody else is doing. Some of it is because of the Olympics, but some of it is just for African pride. We see what’s happening, for all five teams from Africa to get a win at the World Cup is a statement about African basketball. It’s just getting better and better”.
Egypt will keep this win for the classification games, where Mexico will also go but with a 0-3 record.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL