Muraho (Kinyarwandese “hello”) to all basketball addicts out there!
I’m back with a quick update on the ongoing preparations of some of the countries that will be taking part in the African Basketball Championships in Libya in early August this year:
Mozambique is participating in the Lusophony Games (For former Portuguese Colonies) and lost surprisingly their first game to Guinea-Bissau 68-62. Their roster looks like the one which will be in Libya as well, so not a good sign for the country if they loose to a lowly rated team that did not even participate in the qualifiers.
The Elephants from the Ivory Coast went to the U.S. and are currently in Sacramento for the summer league (?).
Coach Dessarzin took 12 players on the trip while Stephane Konate will be later joining the team in Spain, where it will be having another series of games and a camp (20th – 29th of July).
Adolphe Coulibaly, Mamery Diallo and Jonathan Ouegnin were cut and won’t be part of the Elephants in this year’s roster.
The 12 players in Sacramento are:
Mamadi Diane (Virginia, NCAA)
Issife Soumahoro (Strasbourg)
Namory Meite (Paris-Levallois)
Ismael N’Diaye (Florida International, NCAA)
Eric Tape (Rodez)
Philippe Amagou (Roanne)
Souleymane Diabate (Roanne)
Wilfried Aka (Levallois)
Ousmane Cisse (Bnei Hasharon)
Jean-Michel Yotio (Central Florida, NCAA)
Mohamed Kone (Roanne)
Arnaud Dahi (Sheffield Sharks)
The Maghreb nations plus Egypt are all currently challenging each other in Rabat:
15-26th of July – Arab Championships in Morocco with hosts Morocco, Tunisia Egypt and Libya.
After playing the qualifiers, this is another opportunity to get to know the strengths and weaknesses of their neighbors. Tunisia and Morocco are even in the same Group in Libya in August so expect a tough battle between the Arab countries.
Senegal’s Lions are currently in Italy still without Boniface Ndong, who opted to stay in Dakar to resolve his contractual problems with his new team, and are going to play five friendly-matches, against Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Coach Adidas N’diaye confirmed that Pape Sow, DeSagana Diop and Cheikhou Thioune will be part of the team soon and ready to represent the colors of Senegal in Libya.
Senegal is not the only one currently in Italy as Rwanda will be traveling to Italy on the 24th of July as well.
The team has added pros Prosper Karangwa and Manix Auriantal to its preliminary roster.
Nigeria is in Houston and will be reassembling on the 20th of July before flying over to Nigeria for a quick stop-over prior their departure to Libya.
Angola still needs some adjustment after the recent losses in the Almada Tournament.
They are now participating in the Lusophony Games in Lisbon and lost to Portugal 81-72.
Cape Verde is in Lisbon as well with new center John Hegarty and new coach Nigerian Alex Nwora. The games in Lisbon should be a major test for the Cape Verdeans with countries like Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau in the mix.
And finally the Central African Republic finished the first phase of its preparations in Belgium where they lost to Belgium 78-96 but defeated the Ivory Coast 83-80 in overtime. The Central Africans moved to Vichy for the next phase and will be without the services of Mike Mokongo who ruptured his ACL and will be out for at least six months. Maxime Zianveni and Romain Sato were not present but could be joining the team during the preparations.
This is it for this special edition of Focus on Africa; hope to have you back here on Fiba.com for more news from around the basketball world!
I’m out like preparations at home.