AFROBASKET WOMEN

Group D: Cape Verde, Kenya set to test Mozambique’s title aspirations

DAKAR (Senegal) – Two countries returning to the FIBA ’s for the first time in six years and an eternal title contender who target once again their first-ever gold. That’s the broad picture of Group D.

And the question now is: Which of these three teams will stay on contention beyond the quarterfinals?

The biennial 12-nation FIBA Women’s AfroBasket starts on Saturday, August 10 in Dakar and Cape Verde, and have pooled in Group D.

Here’s a comprehensive look at the group’s historic matchups, prospects and a number of reasons to watch them.

CAPE VERDE

The islanders return to the African Championship for the first time since 2013 after beating Guinea 108-98 on aggregate in Zone 2 of the African Qualifiers last May.

 

While Cape Verde bring in some experienced players such as Jade Leitao – who has appeared at three editions of the African Championship (2005, 2007 and 2013) – they also arrive in Dakar with some young guns, namely Alexia Barros and Joseane Vaz.

No. 14 in Africa, according to FIBA World Ranking, Cape Verde will begin their Group Phase campaign against Kenya on Sunday, August 11.

Historically, Kenya hold a 2-1 edge over Cape Verde and Kenya, dating back to the 2007 African Championship held in Senegal.

And the last time Cape Verde and Kenya met up, they shared one win apiece at the 2013 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket in Maputo.

Despite being a team rising to the African ranks, Cape Verde have – on a number of occasions – admitted that there is still a lot of work to be done to become a powerhouse on the continent of Africa.

Can they reach the quarterfinals? It’ll be a huge surprise if they do it, but let’s wait and see what they bring to the table, especially as they travel without Djenifer Monteiro, an important player in the battle near the .

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KENYA

Just like Cape Verde, Kenyans are making their first FIBA Women’s AfroBasket appearance since 2013.

And although the only East African nation in the competition finished runners-up in Africa’s Zone 5 qualifier after losing to Egypt in the Final, they rejoin Africa’s elite thanks to a wild card invitation from FIBA Africa.

A talented combo, Hilda Indasi Luvandw has been key to Kenya and is expected to play a major role in Dakar.

A win against Cape Verde would be huge before facing group favourite Mozambique on Day 3 of the competition.

If ranks are anything to go by, then No.16 Kenya- the lowest-placed team in the tournament – will have a lot of work to do.

MOZAMBIQUE

The Mozambicans have never hidden their dream of winning an African Championship title.

After finishing second on three occasions (1986, 2003 and 2013), they head to Dakar highly-motivated to put their continuing disappointment aside and live up to their title contender expectations.

Mozambique brought to Dakar Leia Dongue – one of the top performers from Africa – added lethal three-point shooter Anabela Cossa and will look to improve from their fourth place from the 2017 edition of the tournament.

Meanwhile, their title credentials will be tested against Cape Verde and Kenya in the Group Phase.

FIBA

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