24 August, 2021
05 September
15 Eduardo Mingas (ANG)
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Mingas remains a big factor for Angola in twilight of national team career

KIGALI (Rwanda) - Two decades as a linchpin in the most successful African national team program of all time has left everyone gushing over Angola's Eduardo Mingas at FIBA AfroBasket 2021.

At 42, the 1.98m forward is still scoring, rebounding and playing ferocious defense. His national team presence has the added bonus that Angola's younger players see how he goes about his business on the court, in the locker room and back at the hotel. 

The statistics are not eye-popping yet they reveal the dependability that coach Pep Claros needs for Angola to go deep into the tournament.  Angola have won a record 11 AfroBaskets, four of them with Mingas.

He is sixth on the team in scoring at 7.8 points per game and second in efficiency at 8.3 while logging 20 minutes a contest. Overall, Mingas is just doing what needs to be done at key times of games.

Mingas has brought stability to Angola in Kigali

He's hit six three-pointers from 11 attempts, including three in Angola's pivotal triumph over the Democratic Republic of Congo, a result that lifted the team into the Qualification for the Quarter-Finals.

Angola then defeated Egypt to reach the last eight.

Mingas is playing just a few weeks after watching two international basketball foes and legends - Luis Scola of Argentina and Pau Gasol of Spain - call time on their careers at the Olympics.

"They (Scola and Gasol) gave all the best they could with passion and for basketball, they put a lot of sweat a lot on the court I'm proud of them," he said.

"THE YEARS GO ON BUT THE PASSION IS STILL THERE." there."- Angola veteran Eduardo Mingas

Though his fame may not be as far and wide, Mingas is in the same fraternity. All three of the players competed at the FIBA Basketball World Cup for the first time together at the 2002 event in Indianapolis. Like Scola, Mingas played at the four World Cups that followed. 

"I'm very happy to be a part of this generation," Mingas said. "We've given everything, done everything to become a reference for the new, younger generations that are about to come."

The time when Mingas will stop with the national team isn't far away, though the way he has played for Angola in Rwanda is proof he remains an asset.

"The years go on but the passion is still there," he says.

Angola have struggled to attain good results at the AfroBasket in Kigali, where they started with an overtime defeat to Cape Verde and followed with a setback to hosts Rwanda.

Thanks to Mingas and another veteran, former AfroBasket MVP Carlos Morais, Angola are still in the hunt, with a game in the last eight against a red-hot Senegal next.