Nacissela Mauricio (ANG) - Angola v Nigeria, 2015 Afrobasket Women, Yaoundé (Cameroon), Group Phase, 25 September 2015
YAOUNDE (AfroBasket Women 2015) - The reigning AfroBasket Women champions Angola on Monday were on the losing end in the competition for the very first time since 2011, but Nacissela Mauricio insists there is no reason for panic.
Angola were on the receiving end of a shocking 53-52 defeat to Egypt which has changed the picture of the tournament somewhat.
"As reigning champions, people might not realise how hard it is for us. We are always the team to beat," Mauricio, the MVP of the last two editions of the tournament, told FIBA.com.
"Nothing is lost. There is a long way to go. We just need to keep focused on our goal and forget about this game [against Egypt] and move on.
"We are going to need to stay together, step up our game, and I am sure we are going to win the championship."
Angola averaged a poor 29 percent field goal shooting through their first four games in Yaounde and the 34-year-old acknowledged they should have a different approach to the game.
"We need to play more intelligently, moving the ball and stop playing individual basketball," she warned.
"We didn't create open shots, and that made things very difficult for us."
Talking to FIBA.com in front of Egypt duo Soraia Deghady and Sara Masoud, Mauricio paid tribute to the North Africans.
"I must congratulate Egypt for their excellent championship," the 1.82m forward said.
"Because they don't compete at AfroBasket Women very often, it is difficult to learn how they play."