BANGUI (FIBA AfroBasket 2017) - In the lead-up to the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 to be co-hosted by Senegal and Tunisia, we take a closer look at all 16 participating teams competing in the championship running from September 8-16.
Nike FIBA World Ranking: 57th
Last participation at FIBA AfroBasket : 14 th (1 win, 4 losses)
Best results in the history of FIBA AfroBasket: Two-times FIBA AfroBasket Champions (1974, 1987)
Qualified for AfroBasket 2017 : Qualified as winners of the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 additional qualifiers
History/Qualifications : Having finished third in 1968, The Central Africa Republic (CAF) won their first continental title in 1974. In 1987 in Tunisia, they returned to the top step of the podium, a result that enabled them to participate in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea.
CAF have not reached the Semi-Final stage of FIBA AfroBasket since then. They finished 14th at FIBA AfroBasket 2015.
Key player : Max Kouguere
At the age of 30, Kouguere has become the Central Africans leader over the last two editions of the African Championship. Two years ago, for instance, the 6ft6in (1.98m) forward averaged 18 points and 5.2 rebounds per game at the biennial championship in Tunisia although his efforts weren't not enough to help his team do better than a 14th-Place finish.
However, this time round, Kouguere and his teammates are looking to make some noise in Dakar, where they will play the Group Phase.
Rising star : Johan Grebongo is only 23 years of age but he is already set to play at his third straight FIBA AfroBasket.
Standing 6ft7in (2.00m) forward, Grebongo can play inside and out of the painted area.
Grebongo has averaged 8.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game at FIBA AfroBasket 2015, and he could be one of CAF's main assets if he stays injury-free.
Outlook : The Central African Republic are drawn in Group B, alongside Morocco, Uganda and Angola.
At first glance, it will a challenging mission for Kouguere and his teammates to reach the Final Phase.
Possible outcome: It's been over three decades since the Central Africans last won a continental title. However, they remain adamant that they could reach a place on the podium this time round.
Their ambition would come true if Romain Sato - the country's most talented player- join the team as expected.