BANGUI (AfroBasket2015) - In the lead-up to AfroBasket 2015, we take a closer look at all 16 participating teams competing in the championship running from 19-30 August.
Team: Central Africa Republic (CAF)
FIBA Ranking Men: No. 56
Last participation in the Afrobasket: 2013 (1 win, 4 loss; 13th)
Best result in the history of the Afrobasket: Africa champions in 1974 and 1987
Qualified for AfroBasket 2015 - Received a wild card to participate.
CAF have not reached the Semi-Final stage of AfroBasket since then. They finished 13th at Afrobasket 2013 in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.
The Central Africans failed to secure qualification for the 16-team event in Tunisia during the Group G qualifier that took place in March in Libreville. They will take their place in the field after being one of three teams granted wild cards.
The Central Africa Republic have been drawn in Group A alongside tournament hosts Tunisia, Uganda and Nigeria.
Key Player: Romain Sato, who had a good campaign with Valencia Basket in Spain's ACB League, will be the key player for Central Africa Republic. He will make his much-awaited return. He last played for his country in 2009.
Sorely Missed: James Mays had a good season in Serie A with Enel Brindisi. He finished as the second best rebounder in the championship and was in the top 5 in the MVP voting. A versatile player who can play forward or centre, he was CAF's leader at AfroBasket 2011 in Madagascar, where he averaged 12.2 points per game.
Rising Star: Johan Grebongo, who plays for Gravelines Dunkerque in France's top flight, can be an asset to the Central Africa team. The 21-year-old player, who made his AfroBasket debut two years ago in Abidjan, has shone so far in the team's preparations. Standing 2.04m tall, he can play inside and out.
Outlook: The Central Africa Republic have big ambitions and high hopes for AfroBasket 2015. However, they should revise these in light of the major players they are missing.
The absences of Mays for personal reasons along with those of Maxime Zianveni, Wilfried Yeguete have been confirmed. And most recently it was the turn of point guard Michael Mokongo to forfeit due to injury.
Max Kouguere must step up his game level to help Sato who will be under the spotlight.
In just six words: a team not to be neglected.