Team World might have won the inaugural NBA game in Africa but the continent that has given basketball some of its most memorable personalities was the real winner in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

And those personalities, Luol Deng [South Sudan], Nicholas Batum [Cameroon], Serge Ibaka [Republic of the Cango], Hakeem Olajuwon [Nigeria] and Dikembe Mutombo of the Republic of the Congo amongst others put on a show for their fellow African natives, leaving the players honoured and the fans wanting more, as they soaked up their maiden NBA experience.

An experience that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will look to repeat as the league might look into bringing more consistent pre-season games here in the future.

But for now, Team World will leave South Africa with a come-from-behind 101-97 victory over Team Africa at the Ellis Park Indoor Stadium.

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A fun and lively first half was highlighted with the introduction of legends Olajuwon and Mutombo, as they entered the fray in the second quarter to a raucous reaction.

Olajuwon, born in Lagos, Nigeria then turned back the years with undoubtedly the move of the game.

But once the third quarter started, the fun and the relaxed atmosphere disappeared, and the World team, featuring Washington’s Bradley Beal, who led the winners with 18 points and team captain Chris Paul of the Clippers adding 12 played the role of bad guys and stole a win from a group of guys relishing in their glorious homecoming.

Greek international Giannis Antetokounmpo, who represented Team Africa due to his Nigerian roots, led the hosts with a game-high 22 points. Deng went for 20.

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