BEIRA (FIBA U16 Women’s African Championship 2017) – Egypt will be looking for their first win at the ongoing FIBA U16 Women's African Championship when they take on hosts Zimbabwe on Sunday at the Ferroviario da Beira Stadium.
That brings their head-to-head record to a rather humbling 0-4 over six years since the inception of this tournament in 2009.
Three of the defeats have come in finals – 2009, 2011 and 2013 with Mali winning three of their four trophies after defeating Egypt and now Mohamed is desperate to overturn this catastrophe.
He expressed optimism ahead of their tie against the debutants and told FIBA.basketball that, “Our objective is to play in the Final because this will earn us a place at the FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018.”
“To get there, we must make it to the Semi-Finals first and defeating Zimbabwe will be a step in the right direction. We have picked some lessons from the loss to Mali,” Mohamed said.
“We have to learn how to play the physical game because in Africa, that is the norm. We have to box out and pick more rebounds. We simply have to be physical and this has been our nemesis as Egyptians. This is a must win game for us.”
However, they face a steep challenge when they take on a wounded Zimbabwean side that could be cheered on by the thousands of Mozambican fans as neighbors.
They will have to focus on improving several grey areas of their offense that were exposed by the Malians.
Egypt only managed 27 field goal and eight three-point attempts against Mali, an average outing by their standards.
Mohamed has called for teamwork from his players and expects all of them to contribute to the cause.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will be looking to record their first victory at the tournament in their debut appearance.