The team World Basketball Team under Miami head coach, Erik Spoelstra, defeated team Africa under the New Orleans Pelicans coach, Alvin Gentry, in a pulsating NBA Africa 2017 exhibition match. The match capped a week full of Basketball Without Borders (BWB) activities.

To grow basketball was what this game was all about. Before the start of the much-awaited game, co-captains-- Dirk Nowitzki, representing Germany and Thabo Sefolosha, representing South Africa and Switzerland -- gave their special messages to the NBA fans gathered at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg.

Nowitzki thanked the fans for coming out in large numbers and promised them a good show. On the other hand, Sefolosha expressed his gratitude to the African fans for the warm welcome and thanked the NBA for growing the game in Africa.

In attendance

Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Hall of Famer and eight-time All-Star, was in attendance and seated next to him was Thierry Henry. The former Arsenal Fc star was in South Africa throughout the week supporting the game. He is a great basketball fan; he practised with the players and went to all NBA community services. NBA commissioner, Adam Silver and RnB artist, Akon were also present.

The match highlights

It was a match of 10-minute quarters with a collection of performances during the interludes.

The Pistons extreme team was present performing their acrobatic manoeuvres at almost every break. The mascots also didn’t disappoint. There was a shooting competition from half court, every shot made was to earn money to be donated to charity. Kemba Walker, Luc Mbah a Moute and Thabo Sefolosha scored from half court. Both Mutombo and Akon were also in the mix but they missed their shots.

In the game, team Africa was the first to score through Victor Oladipo with a reverse dunk into the hoop from a backdoor play combination with Emmanuel Mudiay. At the end of the first quarter, team World was in the driver's seat, leading 33-19. Nevertheless, #team Africa did a great job coming back into the game with a 28-17 score in the second quarter.

Going into halftime #team World was leading 50-47 against team Africa.

Victor Oladipo, of team Africa, was the star of the second quarter scoring 11 points to help narrow the deficit. The Indiana Pacers player-- representing Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the USA --brought his A game to Africa and this earned him the MVP award, after scoring a total of 28 points: 13 in the first half and 15 in the second half. Emmanuel Mudiay, of team Africa and representing Congo and the Denver Nuggets, was the second best leading scorer of the night with 22 points.

Jaylen Brown, representing the Boston Celtics starred for team World. He was the leading scorer for team World with a total of 15 points. His highlight was his acrobatic finish with 7 minutes left to play.

The performance on team World was more balanced with seven players in double figure in terms of points.

Even though the fans supporting team Africa were disappointed they loved the tremendous show from both teams. Team Africa was outstanding, no doubt, but their efforts fell short because, in the end, it was team World 108 and team Africa 97.