National, News

Gov’t praises Bright Stars

By William Madouk

South Sudan government backed its elation and excitement as the Bright Stars shot up to defeated China 89-69 in Manila, Philippines.

Just after the basketball team suffered a calamitous defeat against Puerto Rico with a 101-96 loss in overtime. They came back with rocket speed to smash China’s Great Wall.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, extended heartfelt congratulations to the champ, Bright Stars, adding that their victory is a historic movement for the nascent country.

“The 89 – 69 win marks a historic movement for South Sudan as it secures it’s first-ever win in the prestigious tournament,” said Deng Dau, the acting minister of Foreign Affairs.

According to the minister, the triumph is a statement of talent, determination and hard work of the Bright Stars team.

Foreign affairs added that the outstanding performance by Debutants South Sudan brings immense pride to the people and enhances the country’s image on the global stage.

“Through the power of sports, South Sudan is gaining recognition and marking its mark internationally,” Dau noted.

Acting foreign affairs minister commended President Salva Kiir for providing a conducive atmosphere for youth to seize their potential, he also appreciated Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabor and other government delegations who accompanied the team to Asia.

“We also express our gratitude to the president of the South Sudan Basketball Federation, Luol Deng and all those involved in the preparation and training of the team,” he continued.

He further appreciated the basketball fans who rallied behind the Bright Stars, “This win is a collective triumph, and we celebrate it together as a nation.”

Mr. Dau noted that sport is important in promoting unity, inspiring youth, and showcasing the nation’s potential to the world.

Just as the final whistle blew, all basketball fans watching the game live at the Nimra Talata basketball Court jumped to their feet with joy.

The Hard-won game made many South Sudanese jubilant, while in the mode of celebration, many wished the Bright Stars good luck in their upcoming match against the unbeaten Serbia team.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in South Sudan also came out in the open to congratulate Bright Stars, thanked both teams for the great match and good luck in their upcoming matches.

Also, the Japanese Embassy in South Sudan congratulated the Bright Stars for beating China, adding that their Japanese basketball team also won a historic victory over Finland on August 27.

“Hope our both teams will pave the way toward the second round!” it added.

The Bright Stars is expected to have a match against Serbia on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023.

Ranked 62nd by FIBA, the South Sudanese basketball team still has a rough and tough journey ahead, they must defeat Serbia in an upcoming game to qualify for the next round of the competition.

And if the Bright Stars fail to beat Serbia then China must beat Puerto Rico by 34 points or less, it’s going to be a do-or-die game.

In Group B, Serbia ranked 8th and Puerto Rico ranked 20th have already earned their victories but in a fierce battle Serbia beat the latter.

Serbia leads Group B followed by Puerto Rico, and in third place is South Sudan trailed behind by China.

China now stays at the bottom of Group B and is set to compete with their last opponent Puerto Rico in the group phase.


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