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Tunisia qualify for FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017 as Morocco pull out of qualifier
TUNIS (FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017) - Six years on, and Tunisia are back at FIBA Women's AfroBasket.
As Tunisia and Morocco prepared to compete for the only ticket on offer for FIBA Africa Zone 1 teams for the Final Round, the latter pulled out the regional qualifier that was scheduled to be played April 7-9 in Tunisia.
The decision ensured Tunisia an automatic place at this year's continental showpiece in Mali in September, where they won three of their seven games back in 2011.
"I feel that I have to play at my best, work hard as a team in order to return home with a medal or at least win the respect of our fans in Tunisia as well as all Arabic fans." - Hamrouni
Tunisian forward Houda Hamrouni, who currently plays for Morocco side Club Omnisport de Meknes, would have loved to face Morocco.
"We wanted to qualify on the basketball court because we started our preparations with coach Riadh Ben Abdallah two months ago," she explained to FIBA.com.
"We really wanted to play those (FIBA Africa Zone 1) teams Algeria and Morocco. It would have been a good series against Morocco because they have young talented players."
Hamrouni is set to make her FIBA Women's AfroBasket in Mali in September
In the process, Tunisia became the eighth national team to qualify for the 12-team event, joining African champions Senegal, hosts Mali, Cameroon, Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique and Egypt.
Although the 23-year-old Hamrouni has built her name across the continent leading Tunisia youth teams, she can't wait to make her FIBA Women's Africa debut.
Hamrouni represented Tunisia at the 2014 3X3 World Championship in Russia
"I am used to the atmosphere of playing international tournaments. The only difference between playing junior tournament and senior ones are the fans and the media coverage.
"I feel that I have to play at my best, work hard as a team in order to return home with a medal or at least win the respect of our fans in Tunisia as well as all Arabic fans.
"All we have to do is to represent our country the best way possible."
The draw for FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2017 will take place on May 27 in Bamako, Mali.