SenegalIts just one month to go for the Lions to name a squad , group the players and get them into shape for Mali (15th until 21st of May) where they will be facing the hosts among other nations of Zone 2 (Most possibly Guinea-Conakry) to play out the qualifiers for Libya 2009 (FIBA Africa Championship).

Abdourahmane N'Diaye
National-team head coach Abdourahmane N’Diaye

So far, not much has been materialized by the federation which is most certainly is going to miss important players such as Boniface N’dong, Maleye N’Doye and Pape Sow who should not be present when Senegal faces their opponents in Bamako, because them and several other touted national-team players who are all earning their money abroad would be playing in the play-offs for their club teams during the time of the qualifiers in Mali.

Former role players like Malick Badiane (D-League,USA), Bamba Fall (College, USA), Mouhammed Faye (College, USA), Saer Sene (New York Knicks, USA), Cheikh Samb (D-League, USA) and Mamadou Boumy Seck (College,USA) should provide youth, height and some international experience and should be eager to prove that they are capable to do bigger things for Senegal.

National-team head coach Abdourahmane N’Diaye and his staff are in favor of a preparation that combines a stage in France (Possibly starting the 22nd of April) and later a stage in Dakar before departing to Bamako. But nothing has been decided yet and talks with the heads of Senegalese basketball and sports has been postponed but will be held soon to discuss these important matters to create professional conditions for the national team to prepare properly.

So, it has to be seen how fast decisions will be carried out and how early N’Diaye can tell his players where to group to avoid last-minute plan-changes like it happened in the past years so often. He himself faces problems too due to his commitment as a head-coach of the women’s team of Villeurbanne (France) as the team could be ending their season exactly two days after the start of the zonal qualifiers…

Only one free spot for the Zone 2 is left as Cape Verde being already qualified for Libya and with Mali playing in front of a home-crowd who can relay on many foreign-based players, the task of booking the tickets to the African Championships does look quite moody for the Lions, and only a good outing in Mali and later in Libya can satisfy basketball-fans of Senegal this year as everything else would be a true disaster for the East African basketball-nation.