GABORONE (FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women 2017) - Unbeaten en route to being crowned winners at the just concluded FIBA Africa Zone 6 Qualifiers, Mozambican champions Ferroviario de Maputo shooting guard Elisabeth Pereira is delighted with her side’s success and progress.
" WE LOST TO THEM LAST YEAR IN THE FINAL AT HOME AND THAT FELT TERRIBLE SO WINNING IN GABORONE MEANS A LOT TO US AS A TEAM." - Pereira
Defeating the reigning FIBA ACCW champions InterClube and Primeiro de Agosto both from Angola at the regional tournament cannot be taken for granted, according to her.
She spoke to FIBA.basketball in an emotional interview, “I am very happy because we know InterClube from the last two editions. We lost to them last year in the Final at home and that felt terrible so winning in Gaborone means a lot to us as a team.”
InterClube clinched their record fifth African title after seeing off Ferroviario de Maputo 67-49 in the Final in front of a packed audience in the Mozambican capital and Pereira and her teammates have been working hard since then to walk away from that shadow.
The FIBA Africa Champions Cup Women 2017 will take place from November 10-19 in the Angola capital city of Luanda, and Ferroviario de Maputo will be playing against the crowd if they come up against Angolan opposition in Primeiro de Agosto.
That the latter are two-time winners since the turn of the century in 2006 and 2015 will present a new challenge but Pereira is ready to take on any challenge for she wants to be at the top of African club basketball.
The last time a team from Mozambique lifted this trophy was in 2012 when WNBA legend Clarisse Machanguana guided Liga Muculmana to a 53-43 win over InterClube in the Final in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Ferroviario de Maputo has made the Final on two occasions in 2006 in Libreville when they fell to Primeiro de Agosto 84-76 and 2016 when they fell short against another Angolan side InterClube but Pereira believes this is the dawn of a new era.