Malagasy side COSPN add Toure and Mzoughi to their roster, set eyes on FIBA ABL 2019 Elite 8
ANTANANARIVO (Madagascar) – The second window of the FIBA Africa Basketball League 2019 will take place from February 15-17 in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
And hosts Club Omnisports Police Nationale (COSPN) hope to make of this event a success, and start their continental campaign in style.
To achieve their set goal, the FIBA Africa Zone 7 champions have strengthened their roster by recruiting Frenchman Alpha Toure and Tunisian guard Mohamed Mzoughi.
Before signing for the Malagasy side, Toure, a 2.05 m (6 ft 8 in) shooting guard, plied his trade for French side Boulogne-sur-Mer, while Mzoughi featured for Club Africain in the Tunisian topflight league.
"TOURE IS A TOUGH PLAYER AND HE HAS THE EXPECTED QUALITIES. HE'S PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE FOR HIS FORMER CLUB IN FRENCH NATIONAL 1 LEAGUE, AND I AM CONFIDENT THAT HE WILL HELP US A LOT"
The experience of this twin-tower is what the Islanders were expecting to achieve their dreams.
In a recent interview, Livio Ratianarivo told FIBA.basketball that COSPN’s main weakness was the short height.
It seems that they have come to terms with that aspect, as both new recruits meet the requirements set by head coach Julien Chaignot.
Toure and Mzoughi are eager to make some noise and help COSPN win their first three FIBA Africa Basketball League games and make it to Elite 8.
"I’m really happy to be here. The team is like a family," said Toure.
Chaignot - the French play-caller who has taken the helm of the Malagasy Police-funded club - revealed that Toure's abilities will come into handy during the three-day showdown.
"Toure is a tough player and he has the expected qualities. He's played a pivotal role for his former club in French National 1 League, and I am confident that he will help us a lot," Chaignot told FIBA.basketball.
Even though he has been called in to help for this First Round, he might extend his contract with the Malagasy side, should COSPN advance to the next phase.
"We’ve set our focus on getting to the Elite 8. We’ll discuss about it with the coaching and management staff at a later stage," Toure offered.
COSPN are drawn in Group D, alongside Angola’s Petro de Luanda, DR Congo BC Mazembe and Egyptian side Smouah SC.
They will open their FIBA ABL campaign against continental powerhouse and 2015 African champions Petro de Luanda on February 15.