How Mafanela inspired hosts Ferroviario de Maputo to Quarter-Finals
MAPUTO (FIBA Africa Women's Champions Cup 2018) - The hosts always carry indefinite pressure to perform in front of their home fans and in the Mozambican capital, nothing is different at this year's annual competition.
Desperate times call for desperate actions and for Odelia Mafanela, this has been an opportunity to showcase her effectiveness in executing what the Ferroviario de Maputo technical bench asks of her on court.
Her passion is evident in every pass received and how she attacks the basket thereafter is a matter of making it count and nothing else than the affirmative.
Her energy is second only to captain Ingvild Macauro and when the duo is on court, you can see how the rest of the team lights up on both ends of the court.
With an average of 11.5 points, and 8.5 rebounds, the 29-year old center is the best performer in her side and her efforts have affirmed their title intentions.
"IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE THIS WITHOUT THE HARD WORK OF THE TEAM. WE ALWAYS TRY TO DO OUR BEST. EVERY GAME IS UNIQUE AND WE RESPECT EVERY TEAM THAT WE PLAY AGAINST."
Ferroviario de Maputo registered three straight wins with victories against Equity Bank 68-45, FAP 71-49, AS Vita Club 75-43 before losing to eventual Group A table leaders InterClube 77-70 in a highly contested tie that brought out the best in both sides.
Revealing to FIBA.basketball in an inclusive interview, Mafanela, who is playing her third straight tournament for the hosts said, "Our objective is to win the title and we know that that is a very difficult road to travel but we are ready to face this challenge."
"It is impossible to achieve this without the hard work of the team. We always try to do our best. Every game is unique and we respect every team that we play against."
When Ferroviario de Maputo takes on Kenya Ports Authority in their Quarter-Final tie on Friday at 6pm (local time), Mafanela - a regular member of Mozambique's national team - will be seeking to replicate or even better her performance from the Group Phase but most importantly that the team qualifies to the Semi-Finals.