MAPUTO - (FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women) - The FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women (ACCW) 2016 couldn't offer a better opener as hosts Ferroviario de Maputo take on former continental champions InterClube de Luanda at Pavilhão Maxaquene in the Mozambican capital of Maputo on Friday.
As top-seeded in Group A, hosts Ferroviario de Maputo were given the chance of selecting an opponent to open the proceedings.
For a big surprise of most attendants, the Mozambican champions elected to open the tournament against four-time ACCW winners InterClube de Luanda, in a clash between two ACCW title contenders.
“InterClube are favourite to win the tournament, but we are playing at home and we have competitive rhythm," said Ferroviario de Maputo assistant coach Inaki Garcia. "We preferred to play against a strong team because we believe in our side and we want to surprise them."
Garcia also admitted that "InterClube have a great team with great players like Americans Italee Lucas and Sequoia Holmes, but playing home we must win this game.”.
In the meantime, InterClube assistant coach Fernando Figueiredo felt somehow surprised with Ferroviario's decision.
“All of us were surprised by Ferroviário de Maputo's choice," he admitted. "Normally, the host team want to make their first game against opponents without a history that InterClube have in African basketball. There is nothing that we can do. We only have to play and try to win.”
Meanwhile, in the first action of the day, Cameroon's FAP will take on Kenya Ports Authority in Group A. An opening ceremony is scheduled to take place at 6pm (local time).The show has barely begun but the expectation is already high for the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women.
List of participating teams at the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women 2016: Ferroviario de Maputo and A Politectica (Mozambique), InterClube de Luanda and Primeiro D'Agosto (Angola), GS Petroliers (Algeria), Kenya Ports Authority and United States International University (Kenya), First Bank (Nigeria), FAP (Cameroon) and Etoile Filante (Togo).