COTONOU (FIBA AfroBasket 2017) – The stage is set for three countries in FIBA Africa Zone 3 as they battle for the sole ticket that would guarantee them a place in the final round of the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 slated for Brazzaville, Republic of Congo (August 19-30).
The countries doing battle for national pride are host Benin Republic, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire in the first leg of the zone qualifiers from March 14 – 18 and the second leg billed for March 22- 26 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
With Niger Republic who was to join in this qualifier out because of funds, the Benin side which is made up largely home based players says they are ready to go all the way given their federation’s backing and their vociferous supporters behind them. They insist that the surprise factor is an element they hope to use to make the bold move.
Energetic shooting guard, Romaric Quenum will be leading the pack to ensure that their dream of a first FIBA AfroBasket appearance is realised.
Burkina Faso on the other hand who last appeared at the FIBA AfroBasket in 2013 in Cote d’ Ivoire are keen on making a return in a big way. Though, they placed 16 that year with a 0-5 record, they are bent on having a go this time around with Republic of Congo in their minds.
Secretary of the Burkina Faso Basketball Federation (FEBB) says ''all that needs to be done is in place and players have been called up from home and Europe to get the job done''.
Cote d’Ivoire finished 12th place in Tunisia but remain undaunted in their quest to be in Republic of Congo.
They will have to win their games against Benin and Burkina Faso to make the second leg at home a mere formality.