BEIRA (FIBA U16 Women’s African Championship 2017) – When Angola takes on Egypt on Monday at the ongoing FIBA U16 Women’s African Championship, it will be a defining moment for the North Africans whose ratio is 1-1.
Every game is treated as a final by the five participating teams as the biennial competition serve as qualifiers for next summer's FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup.
“We started very well and we must continue like this and even get better. We respect all the teams at this tournament and we know that Egypt is a good side."- Pires
Angola's head caoch Elisa Pires will be hoping that her star players in Conceicao Caetano, Cristina Lourenco and Alexia Dizeko replicate their form displayed against Mozambique but she is aware that her side will be up against a different style of play in Egypt.
The standard has been set and Pires along with her assistant, Irene Guerreiro will not settle for any mediocrity from these promising youngsters.
“We started very well and we must continue like this and even get better. We respect all the teams at this tournament and we know that Egypt is a good side,” Pires told FIBA.basketball.
Meanwhile, Hamed Mohamed’s side has grown in confidence after their win over Zimbabwe 55-46 but that came after hard fought efforts that called for a revamp in attitude.
Egypt captain Nada Yasser admitted that they will have to raise their mantle against Angola because a further slipup would see their ambitions shaken to the core.
"We really want to qualify for the FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup and to do this, we must first of all qualify for the Semi-Finals and then we shall have a chance to play in the Final. However, we have to be consistent and win every game that we play," she said.
Egypt boosts of a 3-0 win ratio over Angola with victory at the inaugural edition in 2009 in Bamako, Mali when they won 65-52.
In 2011, hosts Egypt defeated Angola 89-56 in Alexandria in the preliminary round before completing the rout when they met again in the Semi-Finals and yet again Egypt stood tall and won 72-41.
Monday's encounter therefore presents an opportunity for revenge with Angola looking to pull one back against Egypt.