Rades (AfroBasket 2015) - Cape Verde's Mario Correia has attributed the team's 76-56 victory over Cote d'Ivoire in their Group D opening game on Thursday to hard work.
"We had great respect for Cote d'Ivoire who finished fourth two years ago but we had to fall back on our strength to subdue them," he told FIBA.com.
This first win of the tournament has boosted the moral of the Islanders who are eager to make a deep run in the tournament.
However, the 1.90m guard remains aware that things have only just started and they have a lot of room to improve.
"It is quite a good thing to begin on a winning note but kudos must go to my teammates and the coaching crew," Correia said.
Back in 2007, Cape Verde made history as they made their first-ever AfroBasket podium by coming in third place in the 16-team tournament staged in Angola and they are now dreaming of clinching a spot for 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"Our aim is not be a mere participant but to compete probably pick one of the three slots for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs) if we can't get the title," he revealed.
To do so, Correia acknowledges Cape Verde have "to approach each game as it comes no matter who stand before them".
Cape Verde will take on Algeria on Saturday in their second game and square off against Zimbabwe on Monday.