Qualified Team Focus - Angola: How much can Angola put around Bruno Fernando
MIES (Switzerland) - The draw for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, presented by Wanda, will be held in Manila, Philippines, on April 29. It is now time to meet the 32 teams that try to become World Champions in a few months.
Here is the number 41 team in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, 11-time FIBA AfroBasket champions Angola.
Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an
How did they qualify
Angola started the African Qualifiers after two disappointments in 2021. In June, they lost to Poland and Slovenia in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Lithuania. Then in August and September, Angola lost to Cape Verde and Rwanda in the Group Phase of FIBA AfroBasket 2021 before being bounced in the Quarter-Finals by Senegal.
Head coach Jose Claros wanted to use the African Qualifiers to bring some new blood into the team and work on building a new generation. Angola were under pressure to make it back to the World Cup for the sixth straight time, and the Black Antelopes did so with one game to spare in the final window.
Angola opened the qualification campaign with the November 2021 window at home in Benguela. And the opening game of Group C couldn't have started better with a 16-0 lead over Cote d'Ivoire and a 17-point advantage early on. But the rest of the game fell apart and Angola lost 57-56. None of Angola's players even scored in double figures.
Claros' men bounced back with a 75-59 win over Guinea thanks to Islando Manuel scoring 18 points and a Jilson Bango double-double (11 points/10 rebounds). Angola finished the first window at 2-1 with a dominant 30-point win over the Central African Republic with Childe Dundao collecting 18 points and 5 steals.
The July 2022 window took place in Cote d'Ivoire and started with another battle with the hosts. Angola rallied from 15 points down but could not finish the comeback, losing 75-73. Dundao scored 20 points, Gerson Conclaves had 19 points and Bango had another double-double (11/11). Angola once again finished the window with two wins - beating Guinea thanks to Antonio Monteiro's 19 points; and knocking off Central African Republic 76-60.
Angola traveled to Cote d'Ivoire again for the August 2022 window and the Black Antelopes had the services of NBA big man Bruno Fernando, who scored 16 points in an 84-62 win over Uganda to start the Second Round in Group E. Angola then won two important games against Cape Verde (65-58) and Nigeria (70-67) with Bango and Gonclaves both hitting 12 points in the latter win..
The final window in February 2023 was back in Angola in the capital Luanda with Claros' team ready to finish the job and celebrate. Dundao led the way with 16 points and 6 steals in an 82-49 beating of Uganda. The next day, Angola defeated Cape Verde again with an 80-67 win with Dundao contributing 23 points, 7 assists, and 5 steals to lock up the Black Antelopes' spot in the World Cup. Angola were cruising in the final game against Nigeria, leading by 20 points with under 8 minutes left. Nigeria made it close in a 65-59 Angola victory to finish the campaign.
Best result at the World Cup
Angola are making their ninth appearance in the World Cup - all coming in the last 10 editions. The African powers will be playing in the sixth consecutive World Cup, having only missed the 1998 tournament. The Black Antelopes finished 3-2 in the group stage in 2006 to take third place in the group - including a legendary triple-overtime game against Germany. In the Round of 16, Angola lost to France 68-62. There was no differentiation of the other Round of 16 losers and Angola were credited with ninth place for best showing in history. Angola had finished 11th in 2002.
Last World Cup appearances
After advancing from the first group stage in 2002, 2006 and 2010, Angola missed out in 2014. In Spain 2014, Angola beat Korea 80-69 and then lost to Lithuania, Mexico and Slovenia. The Africans surprised Australia 91-83, but it wasn't enough to advance with a 2-3 record since they were tied with Mexico. Angola finished fifth in the group and ended up placing 17th. In the First Round of China 2019, Angola lost by 46 points to Serbia and 31 points to Italy before beating Philippines 84-81 in overtime. That gave Angola third place in the group and in the 17th-32nd Classification, the team lost to Iran by 9 points and Tunisia by 2 points. In the end, the Black Antelopes placed 27th.
Players to watch
Angola had a strong core of players during the African Qualifiers with star guard Childe Dundao, Gerson Goncalves, Gerson Domingos and Teotonio Do all playing all 12 games. Four more players, including emerging center force Jilson Bango, appeared in nine games over three windows.
Besides that group, head coach Jose Claros also has star big man Bruno Fernando, who played the one FIBA window. There is also Silvio De Sousa, who hasn't play for the country since FIBA AfroBasket 2017 but would be a huge boost to the team. Yanick Moreira will turn 32 before the World Cup but he did not play at all in the African Qualifiers after starring in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament Kaunas and 2019 World Cup.
Angola also have some depth with Islando Manuel and Abou Gakou. And there is also a group of youngsters who Claros might want to bring to Asia to give them the experience of a big tournament, including Dimitri Macon, Kevin Kokila, Eduardo Mingas Francisco, Sadraque Nganga and Bamba Cisse - all 21 years or younger.
Qualified Team Focus series
Please check the teams we have already broken down. In the past weeks, before the last qualifications that happened in February 2023, we have ordered them by their position in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike:
Spain, Australia, France, Slovenia, Lithuania, Greece, Italy, Germany, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, USA, Serbia, Brazil, Venezuela, Montenegro, Puerto Rico, Iran, Dominican Republic, China, Latvia, Mexico, Georgia, Jordan, Japan, and the Philippines.