07 March, 2017
27 August
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Final Power Rankings ahead of FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017

ABIDJAN (FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017) - The 12-team FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017 tips off in two days time, in Bamako, Mali, and here are the final Power Rankings. 






+1 The Nigerian team head to Bamako looking to regain the African crown they last won at home in 2005. To do so, they brought back three members of their 2005 winning team, including tournament MVP Mfon Udoka (now serving as the national team manager) as well as Aisha Mohamed and Priscilla Chioma Udeaja. And more importantly, they have signed experienced coach Sam Vincent. Although they haven't faced a national team during the preparations, they display arguably the most talented roster in the 12-team event. 



One thing hosts Mali have agreed on is that they can't repeat the disappointing 2011 outing when they finished runners-up in front of home fans. If key players such Naignouma Coulibaly, Djenebou Sissoko and Kankou Coulibaly remain injury-free, the Malians have realistic chances of reaching the final. From there, anything can be possible. 

Eight Senegalese players heading for Bamako have won at least one African title, and five of them have been crown African champions twice dating back to 2009. Head coach Moustapha has also won two FIBA Women's AfroBasket crowns. 
Hours before the team's departure for Bamako, two-time Africa MVP Aya Traore admitted that the tournament would be challenging, but they would do everything in their power to keep the title in Senegal. 

+1 The return of Mai Helwa, who featured for Egypt at FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2013 in Mozambique, as well as the addition of Hala Mostafa Elshaarawy - give the North Africans a major boost.
Elshaarawy, who became one of the first Egyptians to play in USA college ranks, left Saint Peter's University in 2016 as the program's all-time leader in career blocks. 

+1 Mozambique's leading scorer and rebounder Leia Dongue is back after missing out the 2015 African Championship. She has become one of the most talented players across Africa. She has won everything she could have possibly won at club level. Now she is joined by a group of new talents looking to write a new chapter in Mozambique's basketball history.


-2 While the Angolans are well equipped at the guard position with Italee Lucas and Artemis Afonso, they need improvement on the frontcourt. A key player who helped Angola win their first-ever African title in Bamako six years ago, Sonia Guadalupe has struggled with her shooting from behind the arc lately, which might be an issue for the two-time African champions.


Early in their preparations, Tunisia head coach  Riadh Ben Abdallah stressed the lack of preparation games. However, a runners-up finish accomplished at the four-nations Arab Championship last week in Cairo raises Tunisia's morale heading for Bamako. 


-1 Although Mireille Muganza has finally joined the team last week, it's the absence of Pauline Akonga from the final roster that raises more questions than answers about the Congolese chances in Bamako.



The 'Elephants' have reasons to smile now with the arrival of dependable and all-around Kani Kouyate.  



Two losses in as many games against Cote D'Ivoire over the weekend in Abidjan indicate how much room for improvement Cameroonians have.  




Having held most of the preparation on home soil, Guinea head for Bamako looking to improve from the Ninth-Place accomplished two years ago in Cameroon.  



It remains to be seen how the Central Africa Republic, who benefited from a wildcard, can compete against the continent's best.