LIBREVILLE (AfroBasket 2015) - In the lead-up to the AfroBasket 2015, we take a closer look at all 16 participating national teams running from 19 - 30 August.
World Ranking FIBA bwin Men: 86th
Last participation in AfroBasket: 2005 (3 wins, 4 losses; 9th place)
Best result in the history of AfroBasket: 9th place
Qualified for AfroBasket 2015 - Winner of Groupe G - Zone IV qualifiers
Back in 2005, at AfroBasket in Algeria, Gabon finished at 9th place as they did in 1993 when they made their debuts in the tournament in Nairobi, Kenya.
They secure their qualification for this year’s event by recording a 3 -1 win at the FIBA Africa Zone IV Qualifiers, Group G held earlier in March in country’s capital city Libreville.
Gabon will open their AfroBasket 2015 campaign in Group B against Cameroon, Egypt and Mali.
Key player: Stephane Lasme will be the team’s great attraction in the tournament.
At AfroBasket 2005 in Algiers, Lasme - at the time a promising sophomore at University of Massachusetts - led Gabon in scoring and rebounding with averages of 11.7 points and 10 rebounds per game.
The 2.03m forward, has a strong ability to protect the rim, and a good presence on rebounds. He is also able to pour in decisive points.
Lasme, the 2012-13 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Best Defender is excited at the idea of wearing the national team’s jersey.
Rising Star: Francis Kobangoye is one of the best players of the Gabonese League and in the national team. He will be making his first appearance in the 16 - teams’ event with the aim of making great impact with his country.
The 25-year-old who plays for the Gabon side Tali BB had a pivotal role at the Group G qualifiers held at home in their capital of Libreville from 3-8 March, thanks to his MVP performance.
He recently told fiba.com that "Gabon will rely on the solidity of the group to make history in Tunisia."
Outlook: Gabon has set new strategy that helps them make a comeback at the continental stage and hopes to improve their results achieved in the two last appearances.
In just six words: Achieve much than just participating.