28 July, 2023
05 August
5 Masseny Kaba (GUI)
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Masseny Kaba says Women's basketball is real in Guinea


KIGALI (Rwanda) – Guinea may be the surprise guest to the 2023 FIBA Women's AfroBasket Quarter-Finals, but power forward Masseny Kaba is adamant that they will give it all against title contender Mali on Wednesday.

History was made when Guinea overthrew two-time African champions Angola 71-69 to get into their first Quarter-Final since 1994.

This victory means so much more for the Western African nation, since by reaching this stage, they will finish at worse at the eighth place.

"It means so much more than just a victory. With what we did, we showed that women’s basketball is a thing in Guinea and that we are on the right track," Kaba told FIBA.basketball.

While she missed the first part of the game against Mozambique on the opening day, she made up for it by contributing a double-double, accounting for 15 points and 13 rebounds against Cameroon.

Masseny Kaba currently averages 16.7 points and 10.7 rebounds in Kigali

But she watched sadly as the Lionesses proved their superiority and cruised to a 70-50 win.

However, Kaba reckons that her presence on the court that day sent an important message to her team-mates and Guinea's technical staff.

“I'm the picture to the puzzle. The coach knows it, my team-mates know it. And I try to get it back to them by bringing confidence and make sure that we’re together and that basketball is a game of five on five. It doesn't matter who's out there, as long as you give it all. I always ask them for whom they're playing, for their son, their family, or whoever they want. But they've got to give it all.”

With that in mind, that historical win by no means is a stop to their ambitions. Now that they have tasted what it feels like to grab a victory over one of the most feared African nations, they still want to make the headlines.

“It's history. We're all proud to be part of the team and want to keep on working. Everyone might not be playing at the highest level. But everyone showed that they're capable of achieving something great. And I'm just proud for us and our country. We're going to gain more supporters and I'll be happy to put Guinea on the map."

Kaba's contribution to Guinea's victory over Angola cannot be overwritten. She put up some big numbers, 26 points and 14 rebounds, and scored 17 points from the free throw line to overrun the Southern African nation. But it was something that could never have happened had she not given it a second thought.

Guinea caused quite a shock when they overrun Angola in the Classification Round

"I knew I had to remain consistent towards the end and knock down the free throws. I wanted to miss the last one purposely so that they wouldn’t be able to bounce off and get a quick shot with time running on the clock."

With Mali coming up as their next opponents, Guinea have to be even more cautious as they will face one of the tournament's favorites.

"If we're honest, Mali have great players and they are as hungry as anyone remaining. I'm 100 percent convinced that no-one in this arena would have bet a dime on us. But here we are, and we proved that anything is possible. We’re going to give it all and try to create another shock tomorrow."

With both parents hailing from Guinea, she knows she will have some support back home. And for that game against the 2007 champions, she’s looking forward to helping Guinea make a big step forward.

"I'm proud we made it here. And I hope that everyone at home sends us support for that big game," Kaba said.