ISTANBUL (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019) - Playing at the FIBA Basketball World Cup is a dream harbored by many a player and for Cameroon's Franck Christophe Yangue Tankeu, this is a viable one worth sacrificing everything for.
A Business Administration student at Beykent University in Turkey, the 26-year old power forward believes Cameroon have what it takes to compete favorably for a place at the 2019 edition in China.
Yangue told FIBA.com: "It is a tough group with countries like Tunisia and South Africa without forgetting Guinea but I am sure we can make it to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.
"It is not going to be easy but it is possible for us to make it to the FIBA Basketball World 2019 knowing that it is our objective. With this new system, it increases the chance for many countries knowing that it would not be played in one or two games as it used to be."
Yangue admitted that it would be of high advantage if Cameroon hosted the first round of qualifiers, a move that would fully have the home fans back the players.
"It is of great importance to play in front of our fans because they always want good results and with this pressure on us, we would not let them down," he said.
"We will make sure we fight till the last ball and to be focused in all the games we shall play home. Also it would be a great pleasure and advantage if we organize the first round of qualification tournament home." - Yangue
However, Yangue understands that it is not easy to be selected on the Final roster that will take part in these qualifiers.
"As an individual, it is a great challenge knowing that every player would like to defend the colors of their nation and only the talented, good characters and hard workers are selected. So I have to be among those and work harder," he said.
"Our target is to make it to the FIBA Basketball World Cup. With all the talented players we have and a good coaching staff, I am sure we can make it."
The 16 teams involved in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers are the same ones that will take part at the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 this summer, something that Yangue believes is an advantage.
"It is a good beginning, I think before the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers because we will check on our different opponents then work on our weaknesses and strengths compared to the other teams so as to be more prepared and competitive," he explained.
He is delighted about the new FIBA Competition System, saying: "It is a great opportunity for us I think because we have a chance to correct our errors in case we have some during the qualifiers so as to stay on track to attain our objectives that is World Cup 2019.
"We will make sure we fight till the last ball and to be focused in all the games we shall play at home. Also it would be a great pleasure and advantage if we organize the first round of qualification tournament at home."
Cameroon, who are ranked 58th in the Nike FIBA World Ranking and seventh on the African continent, have never qualified for FIBA's flagship event.