RADES (AfroBasket 2015) - The way in which Braulio Morais came off the bench to re-energise Angola's offense in their Group B AfroBasket 2015 opener against Mozambique on Thursday, turned out to be in fact a family matter.
While his older brother Carlos Morais had a slow start to the game, the 24-year-old point guard, who came in for Armando Costa, felt it was about time to step up and make an impact for the Angolans.
Braulio contributed 11 points and a team-high 4 assists off the bench as Angola, who trailed by as many as 15 points, put together the biggest comeback in the tournament so far to secure a 84-72 victory.
Carlos, the MVP at AfroBasket 2013, finished with a team-high 18 points, but that didn't come without a "wake up call" from head coach Moncho Lopez who regrouped his team at the break.
The two brothers were the only Angolans to score in double digits, a fact that overshadowed Mozambique's Augusto Matos' game-high 27 points.
"It feels good because I feel he is following in my foot steps, and he is doing well so far," Carlos told FIBA.com of Braulio's play.
The victory was an historic one for Braulio, who starred for Angola at youth level, and is making his debut for his country's senior team in an official competition.
Asked if the presence of Carlos helped him develop as a basketball player, the 1.85m guard replied: "It helps a lot. I see him as a mirror and I try to do everything he does on the court."
The two brothers currently play for Angolan side Recreativo do Libolo and, Braulio says, that connection is inspiring.
I feel good playing with him [in the national team] because we play for the same club back home. - Braulio
"I am here to help whenever he does something wrong," the 29-year-old shooting guard said of his younger brother.
"I just want to wish him luck and hopefully he does better than me in the future."
As for the remainder of the tournament, Angola have left doubts about their potential to defend their continental title, but Carlos insists it is just a matter of time before the team finds its rhythm and everyone gets on the same page.
He said: "Mozambique played good in the beginning of the game. But the way we finished the game is the way we are going to continue to play.
"We are going to play against better teams, and we will be ready for them."
Angola will resume their Group-Phase campaign taking on Morocco on Saturday.