17 February, 2020
23 February, 2021
Ignacio LEZCANO (Cote d'Ivoire) - Head Coach
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Lezkano returns to the helm of Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea confirmed in Group C

ABIDJAN (Cote d'Ivoire) - Natxo Lezkano has been appointed head coach of Cote d'Ivoire ahead of their FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers later this month.

The decision by Cote d'Ivoire Basketball Federation's new president Mahama Coulibaly marks the return of the Spaniard who led the 'Elephants to the Fourth-Place finish at FIBA AfroBasket 2013 held in Abidjan.

Lezkano takes over from Italian Paolo Povia, who commanded the Ivorians at last year's FIBA Basketball World Cup, and will be assisted by former Cote d'Ivoire team captain Michael Toti, a three-time FIBA AfroBasket participant.
                                                                              Michael Toti is seen here in action at FIBA AfroBasket 2013

Lezkano's appointment comes days before Cote d'Ivoire open their quest to secure one of Group C's three tickets for next year's FIBA AfroBasket in Kigali, Rwanda.

Meanwhile, FIBA Africa on Tuesday confirmed Equatorial Guinea as the fourth team to complete Group C of the Qualifiers, which includes Cameroon, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire.

The Guinea Equatorians finished top of Africa Zone 4 of the pre-qualifiers last month in Malabo, which included Gabon and Chad.

From February 21-23, hosts Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea will open the first window of the qualifiers.

The remaining four groups will start their qualifying campaigns in November.

Below are the groups for the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers:

Group A: Tunisia, Central African Republic, DR Congo and Madagascar

Group B: Senegal, Angola, Mozambique and Kenya

Group C: Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Equatorial Guinea

Group D: Nigeria, Mali, Rwanda and Algeria

Group E: Morocco, Egypt, Uganda, winner of Zone 3