LUANDA (FIBA Africa Champions Cup 2016) - The three biggest Angolan teams will compete in the capital Luanda for two places in the Final Round of the FIBA African Champions Cup (ACC).
The regional qualifier was initially scheduled for last, but the following the withdrawals of Mozambique’s Ferroviario de Maputo and Green Buffalos of Zambia, who failed to travel to Luanda, FIBA Africa rescheduled the tournament for this week.
The African basketball governing body determined that Angolan sides Petro de Luanda, Primeiro D’Agosto and Recreativo do Libolo should compete for the two places on offer for FIBA Africa Zone 6 clubs for the ACC.
With the three teams rated at an almost similar competitive level, this qualifier is set to become a challenge for the ages.
Reigning ACC champions Petro de Luanda will enter the competition trying to give themselves a chance of the defending their continental crown.
With the exception of last year’s ACC MVP Emanuel Quezada who joined arch-rival D’Agosto last month, Petro de Luanda kept most of the team but are also expected to count with Quezada's replacement.
Meanwhile, Angola’s new champions D’Agosto will look to reach the annual ACC for the 13th straight time, and put themselves in a position to fight for their first ACC title since 2013.
Still looking to rebuilding the team following the departure of Carlos Morais, who joined FIBA Europe Cup side SL Benfica of Portugal, Recreativo de Libolo - the ACC 2014 winners and runners-up last year - will appear with some new faces.
Spaniard Hugo Lopez is the new head coach, and he is joined by Angola international Gerson Domingos.
The titanic battle is set to be staged at Luanda emblematic Arena Cidadela.