LUANDA (FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017) - Mali has become a historic place for Angola's women basketball, and Fineza Eusebio can't wait to be back there in September.
It was in the Malian capital of Bamako where Angola came out of nowhere to clinch their first-ever continental championship six years ago beating favourite Senegal in the Final.
In five months' time, Africa's 12 best national teams will convene in Bamako for the FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017 to compete for the two tickets on offer for Africa teams for the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 in Spain.
Eusebio, who is making her return to competition after a year on maternity leave, feels there is no need to panic about their appearance at FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2015.
In that tournament, then defending champions Angola suffered a shocking defeat to Egypt in the Group Phase before stumbling to Nigeria in the Bronze-Medal game.
"We'll be back very strong this summer," the 26-year-old point guard said to FIBA.com. "What happened in Cameroon two years ago no longer bothers us. We have learned from our mistakes, and we are moving on. I don't want to discredit Egypt for the win, but that game was uncharacteristic for us."
In the process, Angola failed to become the first team to win three FIBA Women's AfroBasket in a row.
"But that tournament was indicative of how women's basketball continues to grow in Africa. Teams such as Cameroon and Egypt have become highly competitive in recent years, but other teams shouldn't rule us out," the 1.68m guard noted. "We'll compete to qualify for the World Championship."
Last December, Eusebio watched from the sidelines as her Primeiro D'Agosto collapsed to Nigerian champions First Bank in the FIBA Women's Africa Champions Cup Bronze Medal game in Maputo.
She is now racing against the clock to help D'Agosto in the Angolan championship as well as her national team.
"I am working twice as hard," she said. "Hopefully, I will find my game again and I look forward to helping Angola in Bamako where I made my debut with the senior team."
So far, eight national teams have qualified for the FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017, which will run from September 15-24. They are: Senegal, Cameroon, Nigeria, Angola, Mali, Tunisia, Egypt and Mozambique.