KINSHASA (FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017) - DR Congo ended a six-year jinx to qualify for the prestigious FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017 after edging neighbors Central African Republic (CAF) 123-103 on aggregate over two playoffs at the Ecole Francaise Gymnasium in Kinshasa over the weekend.
A 67-53 in the opener later on Saturday night set the pace for DR Congo to make one step towards the Mali showpiece and indeed despite a tight contest from CAF on Day-2, the home side sealed the required victory.
CAF came into this encounter needing a 15-point victory over DR Congo to end a 40-year old drought but the latter were hungrier to return to the big stage for the first time since 2011.
In the presence of the legendary Mwadi Mabika who represented DR Congo at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics as well as the FIBA Women's World Cup in 2003, the home side had their motivation right to try and return their country back to their glory days.
DR Congo have now joined reigning champions Senegal, Angola, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea, hosts Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tunisia as the 11th side to play at the FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017.
FIBA Africa will attribute a wild card to complete the 12-team FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017 lineup to be held in the Malian capital city of Bamako from August 18-27.
DR Congo have been drawn in Group B along with Senegal, Nigeria, Egypt, Guinea and Mozambique while the wild card that will be announced soon will be in Group A with hosts Mali, Cameroon, Tunisia, Cote d'Ivoire and Angola.