Follow FIBA on Facebook
Guinea v Cape Verde - who grabs the remaining Africa Zone 2 ticket?
PRAIA (Cape Verde) - In a bid to return to the FIBA Women's AfroBasket for the third time in a row, Guinea visit Cape Verde for a two-game playoff series this coming weekend.
The first game will take place on Friday, May 17, while the second clash is scheduled for two days later on Sunday, and Vava Duarte Stadium in the capital Praia will be home to this highly-awaited regional playoff.
With Senegal and Mali qualified automatically for the FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2019 after finishing second and third respectively two years ago, and following the withdrawal of Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Sierra Leone, the two game-series between Guinea and Cape Verde will determine FIBA Africa Zone 2's remaining spot for the biennial tournament to be hosted later this year.
In order to complete three straight appearances at FIBA Women's AfroBasket, Guinea (No.9 in FIBA Africa Rankings) will need to overcome an ambitious Cape Verde (No.14), who last competed against the continent's elite at FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2013 in Maputo, Mozambique, where they beat Kenya and Algeria to finish ninth in the 12-team competition.
Cape Verde team captain Jade Leitao is seen on the right
In a recent interview, Cape Verde head coach Antonio Moreira noted: "Obviously, we hope to have a great showing in front of our fans, and more importantly, we'll try to win the two games and qualify for the African Championship."
Home court advantage aside, Cape Verde will need to try and find answers to University of Connecticut standout Batouly Camara, who can't wait to make her debut for Guinea.
"This is an incredible for any player. You play college basketball, you play professionally, but playing for your country is something special," the 1.88m (6ft.2in) said to FIBA.basketball.
Batouly Camara hits a smooth jumper in the first half for UConn pic.twitter.com/pAZJpGnNow— UCTV Sports (@UCTVSports) January 13, 2019
The 22-year-old admitted that facing Cape Verde will present a challenge as “they are familiar with each other and have been playing together for many years."
Asked about the decision to play for the country of her parents, Camara explained that “earlier in the year they [Guinea Basketball Federation] called but I didn't know if I would be available. Things were put in place and here we are."
And after talking to UConn coaching staff, they encouraged her to embrace the opportunity. "I am really excited to be in this position," she said.
"We are a quick and mobile team. It's a good thing as some of girls play in Europe," Camara described the Guinean team.