16 October, 2019
22 December
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Hungry FAP eye BAL success after Cameroon crown

YAOUNDE (Cameroon) - A close to half a century wait for a Cameroon men's championship crown for FAP of Yaounde has come to an end after the outfit of Cameroon's army and police clinched its first league silverware since its creation in 1972.

FAP secured Cameroon's 2020 league title after maintaining a 6-0 clean slate in the Final Four tournament, besting city rivals Onyx, University of Douala and Nkam basket to add some verve to what has been a very challenging year for the outfit.

FAP hit the court for the Final Four with an experienced roster that had in 2019 sealed the side's ticket for the maiden Basketball Africa League.


Power forward Ebaku Akumenzoh, experienced guard Arnold Kome and dazzling point guard Cyrille Liale ran the court for the Yaounde outfit as they subdued all opposition to secure the highly coveted title.

To bring perspective to FAP's outburst of joy, the side's coach Gilles Koaumo Sango alongside a vast majority of the side's staff weren't even born when the club was created.

"For the entire team, this is something truly exceptional. We've been working hard for this for years now and 2020 hasn't been a very good year with the COVID 19 pandemic," FAP's coach Sango told FIBA.basketball.

"Last year we were able to qualify for the BAL and we told ourselves with what we did that we had the potential to go on to win the championship. Initially the Final Four had to be played in March 2020 and we were banking on our good form to go in dominate.

"Despite the COVID 19 pandemic, we stayed strong and trained as often as we could and I'm really proud of what the players could do. It's a good way to end a very difficult year and it's given the squad the confidence needed going into future competitions."

Having accomplished a lifelong goal, FAP are now entertaining the idea of stamping their footprint on the continental scene with their target being running riot at the maiden Basketball Africa League (BAL).

The Cameroonians believe fresh legs brought into the squad and an all-time high confidence can be succinct ingredients in dominating the 12-team event.

"We have been gearing for the BAL with some great ambitions. The Final Four competition helped us really get to a good level," Sango said. "We have a good roster and we are expecting some new additions that will make us a stronger squad.

"At BAL all the teams will be equal. If we ever felt like we weren't good enough, we couldn't have qualified for it. We are going there to make a strong statement and I know as a team we have just one ambition."

FAP however will be suiting up for the continental basketball jamboree without their scintillating point guard Jordan Rezendes whose 13.9 points and 3 assists during the qualifying tournaments of BAL came in handy for the Cameroonian outfit.

With the 28-year-old having found a new home in German second tier club Speyer, FAP chieftains have been racking their brains, scouting for a ball handler whose presence on the court will fill the void created by Jordan's absence.

FAP will be without point guard Jordan Rezendes

"Jordan is a superb player," Sango admitted before adding, "He is the sort of player who could run offense and he did some decent work defensively. He was one of our key players and it was easy for him to gel into the team.

"Having a player like Jordan who understands the coach's philosophy isn't always easy. He worked for the team and was able to create opportunities for others. So when you lose such a guy, it's not just about the talent but what his presence brings to the court.

"You can get a very talented player but if he's not able to play for the squad and bring the best out of the others, it becomes difficult executing.

"We are looking for a player who possesses these qualities but above all one thing is certain, we will have a very strong and competitive roster."

Quizzed if setting up against more talented and financially viable sides can dent FAP's expectations Sango retorted:Β  "No way. This is the first edition of the BAL and we have really huge ambitions. We are out to prove to all that apart from our stars in the NBA or in Europe, in Cameroon we have talented players who can perform at the highest level and do some great things.

"We understand that a strong performance in the BAL will perhaps change the perception of Cameroonian basketball and perhaps encourage more persons and businesses to invest in the sport as a whole."

FAP's triumph on the local scene has fueled their desire for greater success and Sango thinks it's had a surprisingly positive impact on the team.

"I go to training sessions and I see the fire in the eyes of my players. Some of them can't wait to get started and I see how they work very hard which to me is a good thing not just for them but the entire club," he said.

"Lately our national teams haven't had the best of performances on the continent and we are out to improve our reputation.

"We want to go there and excel and hope that we can relaunch Cameroonian basketball because one thing is certain, now not too many people are talking about us but if we go in there and do something incredible, suddenly everyone will be talking about FAP and Cameroon."

"If we can achieve our goal, then surely at the next AfroCan people will be expecting us and then at AfroBasket we'll have more home based players in the team.

"One thing is certain, this team wouldn't go down without a fight and everyone who's underestimating us is making a serious mistake. When we turn up at BAL, we'll be ready," he concluded.