SHEFFIELD (Julio Chitunda's African Message) - Angola have a unique history of hosting the FIBA AfroBasket.
When FIBA Africa announced Angola as new hosts of the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 last Friday - replacing the Republic of Congo - other title contenders interpreted it as a challenge for the ages.
So much so, that Angolan basketball history speaks for itself.
However, none has been more successful than Angola who claimed three of their 11 African titles as hosts of the competition in 1989, 1999 and 2007.
What makes the feat even more remarkable is that the Angolans never tasted a defeat when playing at home.
While Tunisia, Cote d'Ivoire and Egypt - three of the top ranked teams - have lost at least one game as hosts of FIBA AfroBasket, Angola currently hold an astonishing 21-0 home record.
So it becomes inevitable to ask: who can end Angola's unbeaten home record?
Looking at recent events, and considering the growing competitiveness of FIBA AfroBasket, a number of teams seem capable of beating Angola at home.
Nigeria - if they keep the backbone of the team from Rio 2016 - and Senegal are the only two teams that got the better of Angola at FIBA AfroBasket 2015 and pose the biggest threat to the hosts of this summer's 16-team continental event.
Now, it remains to be seen if the home court advantage can help Angola past Senegal if they face each other in four months time.
How about Tunisia, some may ask? Can they beat Angola in Angola?
It's possible, especially as the North Africans, who beat Angola in the Final of FIBA AfroBasket 2011, still carry the pain of losing to Angola in the Semi-Finals two years ago on their home soil.
But what makes Tunisia a threat to Angola is coach Mario Palma.
Angolan-Portuguese Palma, a man who won four African titles at the helm of Angola, is now in charge of Tunisia, and he knows better than most the strongest and lowest points of Angolan players.
With that being said, and with Angola basketball history speaking for itself, nothing else can be expected from them other than a title at FIBA AfroBasket 2017.
But they will need to pass the tests against Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia.
By Julio Chitunda for FIBA.com