The West African duo have been paired alongside Rwanda and Uganda in the group to battle for spots in the upcoming tournament. The qualifiers begin on November 24.
Reigning African champions Nigeria have been in good form since winning the Africa Basketball Championship (AfroBasket) in 2015 and competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Nigeria earned an automatic spot to compete in the 2017 AfroBasket Championship.
On the other hand, Mali is a rising force on the continent and underlined its ascent by qualifying for this year’s AfroBasket by placing second in Zone 2 behind Senegal.
Both sides will fancy their chances as Rwanda made the AfroBasket after FIBA Africa awarded the country a Wild Card slot while Uganda made it through the less competitive Zone 5 behind Egypt.
Countries from the subregion; Guinea, Senegal and Ivory Coast have been placed in Group A and Group D respectively.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter