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28 July, 2023
05 August
19/07/2023
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TEAM PROFILE: Angola set to fight continuing downfall

 

LUANDA (Angola) - Angola are headed to the 2023 FIBA Women's AfroBasket with a squad consisting of young players, a few veterans and a new head coach.

When Angola return to the biennial Women's AfroBasket - From July 28 to August 5 at BK Arena in the Rwandan capital city of Kigali -, for the twelfth straight time, they will try to fight their continuing decline from the past decade.

                                         Angola's maiden World Cup appearance in 2014 was the pinnacle of their successful run a decade ago

Find below a fact file about Angola. 

Team: Angola

Ranking: 48th; 6th in Africa

Last participation in Women's AfroBasket: 2021 (2-4), finished eighth

Best result at the AfroBasket: African champions in 2011 and 2013

How they qualified for the AfroBasket: Angola qualified to the Final Round after finishing second in Africa Zone 6' qualifiers in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Despite double wins over Zimbabwe and Zambia, the three losses to Mozambique in the qualifiers leaves no doubts as to who the regional powerhouse in that part of the continent has become. 

Africa: A team that once dominated the game on the continent, continues to fight their downfall, and this seems to be one of Angola's purposes in the 2023 edition of the Women's AfroBasket.

2023 AfroBasket Group: Angola are drawn in Group A alongside hosts Rwanda and Cote d'Ivoire.

Star Players: Italee Lucas, Crisitina Matique and Avelina Peso make the core of the former African champions' roster although Nadir Manuel's experience can be added value.

Cristina Matiquite

Manuel remains as the only African champion in the Angolan team.

New addition: If available, point guard Sara Caetano can be a massive addition to the two-time African champions. 

Coach: Oriel Villa was appointed Angola head coach in June. The spaniard has become the first foreigner to coach Angola at Women's AfroBasket.

Villa replaced Jaime Covilha, who led Angola to a 4-3 mark in the qualifiers, before guiding his country at the 2023 FIBA U16 African Championship in Monastir, Tunisia. 

Villa is known for his successful career in youth and women's basketball in Spain.

Walter Costa, a former national team player and 2004 Olympian, was in charge of the Angolan team that finished eighth, in the 2021 Women's AfroBasket, which turned out as Angola's worst campaign in the history of the tournament. 

 Italee Lucas 

Outlook: No top-ten African team has registered deeper decline than Angola in the last decade.

From winning two straight African championships in 2011 and 2013 to finishing eighth two years ago - and being outclassed by Mozambique in the regional qualifiers - Angola are headed to the Kigali showdown looking to fight further downfall.

A Quarter-Finals spot is possible for Angola, but reaching the Championship Game seems challenging for the No.6 a team in Africa who has struggled to beat the likes of Egypt, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria and Mozambique in recent years. 

FIBA