ANTIBES (FIBA AfroBasket 2017) - Central African Republic (CAF) forward Max Kouguere is open to extending his international career after having previously contemplated calling it a day for the national team.
"We could have done a lot better had the preparation been organised correctly," Kouguere told FIBA.com, looking back on the 16-team competition.
Despite playing hard, and almost upset former African champions Angola in the Round of 16, they returned home with a 1-4 mark.
Some argue that had Romain Sato - whom many consider to be the country's best current player - played in Tunis, CAF's campaign would have been more successful.
But because his insurance was resolved late, the Valencia Basket forward didn't travel to Tunis.
"I told the new president [of CAF's basketball federation] that I can play for the national team again, but I also have invited him to come to France to meet other members of the national team based in Europe." – Kouguere
"We had a good conversation. He informed me how he and his team plan to reorganise the federation," the 29-year-old said. "Right now, I can't say what the future holds for the Central African Republic basketball, but there is a lot of work to be done, for sure."
It's not known yet when the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 Zone 4 qualifiers will take place, but Kouguere, who has featured at four straight AfroBasket tournaments, is experienced enough to believe that the sooner they begin the national team’s planning and preparation, the better the team can become.
"Time is flying and the federation must start preparing the national team before the AfroBasket qualifiers begin," the 1.99m forward suggested. "Hopefully the new president can bring the confidence and motivation that players need to keep on representing our country. It won't be easy but he needs to be prepared for the challenges.
"I told the new president that I can play for the national team again, but I also have invited him to come to France to meet other members of the national team based in Europe. Players should be heard about how the national team must be run. He agreed and we are looking forward to meeting with him soon.
"If nothing changes, then probably I won't be the only one to skip the national team," said the man who led CAF in scoring with 18 points per game in Tunisia.