08 - 16
September 2017
4 Michael Toti (CIV), 5 Aboubacar Hima (CIV), 14 Herve Kabasele (COD)
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DR Congo hungry for more success at FIBA AfroBasket 2017

TUNIS (FIBA AfroBasket 2017) – Fresh from defeating the reigning champions Nigeria 83-77 in their last Group A tie, DR Congo feel they still have a lot to offer at the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 in Tunisia.

With an initial target of reaching the Quarter-Finals, Papy Kipunka Kiembe’s side is now rearing to go much further at the continental competition that has attracted the best teams from the continent.

When they take on co-hosts Tunisia in front of a home crowd yearning for success, DR Congo will be up against a rather motivated and in-form Tunisian side that boosts a 100% winning record. 

At the heart of this objective is center Herve Kabasele who has manned the Leopards paint and with an average of 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, he believes this is an opportunity for DR Congo to make a mark at the big stage after missing out on the last four editions. 

"Our main goal was to be in the Quarter-Final which we have achieved but from here going forward anything can happened because I have come to find out that top African players I watched only television are human after all," Kabasele told FIBA.basketball in an exclusive interview. 

"I am happy our country is back to the biggest basketball competition in Africa after missing out on the past four editions. We are out to take our chances and this is an opportunity to showcase my talent and probably attract scouts from around the world because my dream is to be drafted into the NBA or sign for any of the big teams in Europe."

DR Congo opened their account at the tournament with an 87-82 loss to Mali before bouncing back to pick an important 81-60 victory against Cote d'Ivoire.

Needing a victory over Nigeria to proceed to the last eight, DR Congo threw everything they had at the game and stunned the defending champions 83-77, a result that has them walking with their heads held up high. 

Power forward Chadrack Lufile admits that after beating Nigeria, DR Congo can go all the way and win the title. 

"After dispatching a country like Nigeria with a strong pedigree in our last group game, I believe there is no team that we cannot face," said the confident Canada-based 6ft9in power forward. 

This will be the first meeting between DR Congo and Tunisia at the FIBA AfroBasket and the winner will march on into the Semi-Finals with a chance of being crowned African champion.