CAIRO (AfroBasket Women 2015) - Egypt women's basketball is experiencing a new era in its history.
Against the odds, Egypt - who received a wild card invitation to compete in the event a month before it started - left the Cameroonian capital hopeful of a bright future thanks to their 3-5 mark.
Competing with the youngest team in the tournament - 12 players averaging 20 years of age and most of whom have represented in junior world championships - head coach Tarek El Kattan's side just fell shy of improving on the eighth-place finish accomplished two years ago.
However, the team's tenacity to compete against bigger, taller, older and more experienced opponents paid off as they climbed nine places - the highest mark in the FIBA Africa Women's Ranking - to stand as the eighth best on the continent and 60th overall in the world.
Although Egypt displayed some inconsistency at times, ending Angola's AfroBasket Women 18-game winning streak was without a doubt their brightest moment of the competition.
The North Africans stunned then reigning champions Angola 53-52 in the Group Phase, but it is the future that matters most for El Kattan.
"We accomplished our first goal, which was to finish in the top eight," he said to FIBA.com.
It's been over three decades since Egypt last finished on the podium of the African Championship, but El Kattan is dreaming big with the re-launch of women's basketball in the country.
We have big ambitions with this group of players. - El Kattan
"Our hope is to see this group of players becoming title contenders in Africa."
A year on since they failed to qualify directly for AfroBasket Women 2015 and things seem to have moved quickly for Egypt.
After finishing third in the Africa Zone 5 qualifier held in Kampala, Uganda - behind winners Uganda and runners-up Kenya - El Kattan thought drastic decisions were necessary to be made.
He not only selected six U18 players who helped the country finish second at the 2014 FIBA Africa U18 Women's Championship, but he picked only two players who represented Egypt at AfroBasket Women 2013.
"We thought it was the right time to give our younger players a chance to compete against more experienced teams," he noted.
The decision seems to have worked out as Egypt is likely to compete for higher ranks in future Africa competitions.