KIGALI (FIBA Africa U18 Championship 2016) - At 16 years of age, DR Congo's Patrick Mwamba is living a childhood dream. In fact he has now set new targets and will be working on achieving them.
Following the team's Day 3 game at the FIBA Africa U18 Championship 2016, he spoke to FIBA.com about them.
Mwamba: We knew that our only chance to compete at the continental level was by wining our zonal qualifier. We worked hard and trained so much to get to where we are.
FIBA.com: Most of your teammates on the national team are from your team as well as your coach. Does this help you in anyway?
Mwamba: Of course it does because we have team cohesion and know each other because we play together at PGB Academy. And also as PGB Academy we have played at Amahoro National Stadium several times at invitational tournaments including against the Rwanda U-18 team so this helped us to prepare for the tournament. We are playing on familiar territory.
FIBA.com: Now that you are in Kigali, how is it going?
Mwamba: We won our opening game against Uganda and have lost two, but the loss to Tunisia really hurts us so much because we came so close. In fact a few mistakes cost us the game.
FIBA.com: There are some fans who travelled from DR Congo, some who live in Kigali and also the Rwandan crowd has been supporting you. What does this mean for you as a team
Mwamba: Playing the tournament in Kigali is great for us because we have many people in the stadium who support us. Seeing our flag being waved during games gives us a lot of comfort and we always look to make them proud.
FIBA.com: You are currently the highest point’s scorer for DR Congo in the tournament. What does this mean to you?
Mwamba: Honestly, it is a good feeling. Playing at this level is a blessing from God and it is something I treasure because it has always been my dream to play on the national team. And now that I am here in Kigali, I have to give it everything.
FIBA.com: Your next game is against Angola. What do you think about it?
Mwamba: Angola is a very strong team. There is no doubt about that but we shall be going into this game with the aim of winning. It is not easy and they are unbeaten so far but we must work together as a team if we want to win.
FIBA.com: What are your targets at this tournament as a team?
Mwamba: Even though we lost to Egypt, we put up a good fight and in fact it gave us more confidence and determination going forward. We want to make it to the Quarter-Finals and we can pick it up from thereafter and see how far we can go. It is our first time ever to compete at this level so we want to take it a game at a time.