28 July, 2019
03 August
Egypt U16 Women's Team
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Can Egypt stop Mali at #FIBAU16Africa?

CAIRO (Egypt) - Going into the sixth edition of Africa's premier U16 girls competition, it is common knowledge that Mali are the outright favourites to win the title simply because their pedigree speaks for itself. 

Five consecutive African trophies in five tournaments is a mark of greatness and the West African side does not shy away from it, however, an old rival in Egypt has a different idea. 

Egypt for all their talent over the years have been losing finalists in three consecutive editions right from the inaugural tournament in 2009 through to 2011 and 2013 before falling down the pecking order to seventh in 2015 and third two years ago. 

These near misses are what Egypt captain Farida Mossad and her troops want to address at this year's edition from July 28 to August 3 that presents a perfect opportunity to write a new chapter on their terms. 


 For Egypt, this is more than just beating Mali to the title but rather also a chance to book a place at the FIBA U17 Women's World Cup 2020 set to be held in Romania. 

In an exclusive interview with FIBA.basketball, Shooting Club's poster girl Mossad who takes after the senior team's super star Soraia Deghady, is excited at the life changing chance that comes with donning national team colours and representing over 100 million Egyptians back home who believe in them. 

"It means so much to me representing my country in such a great event like this especially since it is my first time having to wear the jersey for the first time. It feels like a real honour," Mossad emphasised visibly showing the attachment. 

That there is faith in the system and structure of Egyptian basketball, Mossad is inspired by Deghady's ascendence to the high echelons of playing and being a key player for the senior women's team that will play at a third straight FIBA Women's AfroBasket later this month in Dakar, Senegal.

Mossad said, "Seeing them play on court gives me motivation that I can one day be something bigger than that and be a role model to others."

Eight teams including Angola, five-time record champions Mali, Mozambique, hosts Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda will all be battling for the African title just like Egypt and the latter are aware of the challenge ahead of them. 

However, Mossad believes that a special Egyptian spirit with this squad could guide them to the promised land if they take one game at a time. 

"What I consider very unique about us is our spirit and how each and every person on the team has winning first place as a goal and would do anything for that" Mossad explained passionately. 

It is needless to say that the battle lines have been drown and indeed only the action on the court will determine who earns the most respect when the tournament tips off on July 28 in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.