Angelo Victoriano
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Hall of Fame Ângelo Victoriano passes away

LUANDA (Angola) - The international basketball family is in mourning following the death of former Angola international player Ângelo Victoriano. 

The eight-time FIBA AfroBasket winner passed away on Saturday, April 13 in his home town of Luanda at the age of 56.

Victoriano was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame Class of 2023. 

Throughout his playing career, Victoriano represented his country at three editions of the FIBA Basketball Cup (1990, 1994 and 2002) and featured at the Olympics four times (1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004). 

At club level, Victoriano played for Petro de Luanda (1982-1992 and 1995-1996), Atletico Queluz (1992-1993), Barreirense (1993-1995), ASA (1996-1997) and Primeiro de Agosto (1997-2006).

He is a 10-time Angolan League champion, eight-time Angolan Cup winner, eight-time Angolan Super Cup winner, two-time African Clubs Cup winner, and Portuguese II Division League champion in 1993.

In a statement, the Angolan Basketball Federation paid tribute to one of their most revered players: "In the present circumstances, we feel unable to find words of comfort for the bereaved family, friends, colleagues and basketball lovers. The Angolan Basketball Federation bows before the memory of this great man who was Ângelo Victoriano and we take the opportunity to reiterate our sorrow at his departure," it read.

Miguel Lutonda formed an iconic duo with Victoriano for over a decade at club (Primeiro de Agosto) and national team level. 

Lutonda, whose national team career spanned from 1995 to 2007, admitted to that news of  Victoriano's death caught him surprise. "I knew Angelo was ill but I have never expected him to leave us at such a young age. As a man who shared many special moments with him on and off the court, I feel devastated for his premature departure," Lutonda said.

Angelo Victoriano and Miguel Lutonda are seen here during a 2000 Athens Olympics game against Greece

One of Africa's best point guards  of all time, Lutonda acknowledges that Victoriano played a huge part in his career. "I will forever be grateful to Angelo Victoriano. It was him who convinced me to leave ASA and join Primeiro de Agosto. It was a move that completely changed my live for the better."

Lutonda went on saying that "Angelo's passion for the Angolan national team was  truly remarkable. He was always ready to help our country, even when he played professionally in Portugal he wouldn't decline a call to play for our country."

Miguel Lutonda

"He is gone but he will be deeply missed. He will forever live in many people's hearts. I am happy for his legacy in Angolan and African basketball. I don't think his eight AfroBasket titles record will ever be broken," insisted Lutonda who won five AfroBasket titles alongside Victoriano.