Mozambique is not a country usually associated with basketball prowess, but this may change over the next few years and the catalyst for this may be the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Mozambique basketball coach Nelson Isley said the young team will use this tournament to start their campaign to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“We are building a young team. The team we have brought will get good experience here and that is what we are after,” Isley said.
But the team must overcome a couple of hurdles.
They are without six of their best players who were not granted releases from their US college or professional team – leaving them technically weaker.
One player who is here is forward Carla Silva, who believes the team will be challenged in Melbourne because they lack match practice.
“There are only six other [international] teams to play against," she said.
"In our zone, Mozambique and Angola are the best teams, the others are not so good.”
Silva is looking forward to the Games and feels the team will have a successful tournament.
“We think that we have the capacity to win some games. We’ll do our best at each game,” she said.
- Games News Service
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