Women’s AfroBasket 2021 – Team Profile: Mozambique


Temps de lecture : 3 mn đź•—

MAPUTO (Mozambique) – When the question “Name a top, decent, competitive and talented team that has never won the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket?” pos up, there is likely only one answer: “Mozambique.”

A quick look into Mozambique’s squad heading to Yaounde, and it suggests that they have what it takes to compete against any top team in this year’s Women’s AfroBasket, which will run from September 18-26 in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Mozambique reached the Women’s AfroBasket 2019 Semi-Finals undefeated (3-0), but a 60-57 loss to host Senegal, followed by a 66-54 defeat to Mali ended their aspiration of finishing on the podium

Here are some key elements about Mozambique.

Team: Mozambique.
FIBA Ranking Men
: 42nd (World); No.4 in Africa as of September 14, 2021.
Last participation in the Women’s AfroBasket: 2019 (3 wins, two losses. 4th-Place).
Best result at Women’s AfroBasket: Runners-up in 1986, 2003 and 2013.
How they qualified for the Women’s AfroBasket 2021:  By finishing fourth in the last edition of the tournament in Dakar in 2019, Mozambique were granted automatic qualification to the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2021.
World: By finishing second in the Women’s AfroBasket 2013, Mozambique – alongside Angola – went on to represent the continent at the FIBA Basketball Women’s World Cup 2014 in Turkey.

Although Mozambique finished fifth in the 2011 edition of the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket, they accepted the offer to compete in the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2012 in Ankara, replacing Women’s AfroBasket 2011 Third-Placed Senegal that declined to take participate in the event. Fourth-Placed Nigeria also turned the offer down, before Mozambique grabbed the opportunity with open arms.

In Ankara, Mozambique forced higher-ranked Croatia and South Korea to step up before they fell 0-2. It was Mozambique’s first-ever participation in a tournament of such magnitude, and they described it as “a positive and encouraging participation.”

Youth teams impact: Mozambique U18 and U16 national teams have become regular participants in continental competitions, and some of their players end up wearing the senior team’s jersey at some point in their careers.

Over the past few years, there has been a growing trend of Mozambican players pursuing their academic and basketball ambitions at US Colleges. Vilma Covane, who suited up for her country at  Women’s AfroBasket 2015, has last played for the University of Cumberlands.

Before Tamara Seda began her professional basketball career, she played for the University of Texas El Paso.

History/Qualification: Every time Mozambique hosted the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket (1986, 2003 and 2013) they reached the Final of the tournament, but somehow, they ended up in the second highest step of the podium.

Mozambique have finished in Third-Place three times in 1990 (Tunisia), 1993 (Senegal) and 2005 (Nigeria).

Key Players: Two players come to mind when it comes to accessing Mozambique’s current squad: Leia Dongue and Tamara Seda.

As well as winning several awards at club and individual level in Africa, Dongue has been named to FIBA Women’s AfroBasket All-Tournament teams three times in 2013, 2017 and 2019 such is her impact.


Leia Dongue

Seda, meanwhile, is a 1.94m (6ft 4in) center who adds a much-needed physicality at both ends of the floor. Last month, Seda was named the Most Valuable Player of the Angolan Championship 2021 season after helping Primeiro D’Agosto to the national title.

New addition: If Vilma Covane is short-listed for the Yaounde showdown, she will boost Mozambique’s front-court given her 1.93m (6ft 3in) size.

Head coach: Nasir Sale was last month re-appointed head coach of Mozambique. He replaces Leonel Manhique, who coached Mozambique during the FIBA Women’s Pre-Qualifying African Tournament 2020 held in Maputo.

Spaniard Julian Martinez coached Mozambique at Women’s AfroBasket 2019.


Nasir Sale

Nasir Sale has coached his country on a number of occasions. He inspired Mozambique to the Second-Place of the 2013 edition of the tournament in Maputo. Two years later, Sale’s Mozambique finished sixth in Yaounde.

Outlook: It’s not just FIBA World Rankings that place Mozambique as a top-4 team on the continent. The Mozambicans are legitimately one of the strongest teams in modern African basketball.

Mozambique have the potential, experience and assets to reach the Women’s AfroBasket for the second time in a row.


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