Mali has missed out on winning a gold medal at the 2019 FIBA Under 19 World Cup after losing 79-93 to United States of America.
The West African nation was hoping to become the first ever team from the continent to clinch gold in the competition. The tournament was held in Greece.
The win gives America its seventh title and a big bounce back from a disappointing loss in the 2017 semifinals to the RJ Barrett led Canada.
Mali jumped out to an 11-3 lead and led 22-20 after the first quarter but USA respeonded by grabbing the game’s lead (42-40) to end the first half.
A huge 11-0 run from the Americans to start the third quarter turned the game on its head for good with Mali failing to respond in similar fashion.
USA wrapped up its seventh world title at this level to end Mali’s dream. Reggie Perry was named MVP of the tournament after averaging 13.1 points and 7.9 rebounds.
Mali Center Oumar Ballo and Point Guard Siriman Kanoute were named to the All Star Five. France placed third after beating Lithuania 73-68.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter