Overdose Up Station ready to make AWBL debut, have the eye on success
YAOUNDE (Cameroon) - The disappointment of not making the trip to the now-defunct FIBA Africa Champions Cup Women in Mozambique last year did not discourage Overdose Up Station coach Roger Dassi and his team.
This year, having qualified for the newly formed Africa Women's Basketball League (AWBL), Dassi, the club president, ensured his team did not miss out on making their debut in continental competition.
The lack of funding, which ended Overdose's chance of travelling to Mozambique last year, will not be the case this time.
Overdose Up Station in action
Dassi told FIBA.basketball planning ahead of time was the difference ahead of this year's tournament in Alexandria, Egypt (11-19 December).
"This year, I put plans in place so that we can be ready. As the president and coach of the team, a lot rests on my shoulders. The government has helped us because we do not have a sponsor, so we are ready. Our players will get a chance to play in the new league," said Dassi.
Overdose, who have five consecutive local league titles to their name, can now look forward to competing against nine of the top clubs on the continent.
"Everybody is happy. It was our objective throughout the season to get to this place. We are coming with a young team. I think our average age is 23. Five of our players represented Cameroon at the Francophone Games, and their experienced will count for us," said Dassi.
In terms of objectives, Dassi has high ambitions for his club in their debut season. He says the FIBA Zone IV champions will aim for a medal position.
"We know we are going there for the first time, but we are a winning team. Our team is filled with positive energy. We want to win or at least come back with something," said Dassi. "To reach our objective, we have to take things step-by-step. We are champions of Cameroon, and we have to be ready to battle the league winners of other countries.
"So we have instilled in their minds that we are going there to win. During our practices, I emphasise the importance of this objective. When we go there it must be with a hunger to win."
Finally, Dassi says while his players are going to the AWBL to compete, they must also enjoy themselves.
"We should not underestimate anyone. No team is superior to us. We have to play our game. We are going to there to compete. The players should have fun while doing that," concluded Dassi.