12/07/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/07/2019 09:28
CAIRO (Egypt) - Defending champions Ferroviario de Maputo begin their title challenge on Saturday when they take on FAP from Cameroon in their Group B opening game at the Cairo Indoor Stadium.
The Mozambican champions have made it clear that they want to set the ball rolling from the onset especially as they try to win the continental competition away from home.
'WE MUST SHOW THAT WE ARE HERE AND READY TO DEFEND OUR TITLE. WE NEED TO ENTER THE COMPETITION VERY HARD. WE SHALL PLAY WITH ANOTHER MINDSET BECAUSE BEING A CHAMPION IS DIFFERENT FROM BEING A CONTENDER SO WE MUST FIGHT AND ENJOY EVERY GAME. '- Mucauro
Captain Ingvild Mucauro and Odelia Mafanela - the stars from last year - will be at the center of this charge but against FAP, they face a wounded side that fell hard to Al Ahly in the opening game on Friday and will be looking to make amends.
In Nigerian guard Sarah Ogoke, they have found an able replacement for their injured three-point assassin Anabela Cossa who is out of the tournament with a back injury and is expected to do the hard work that is defending FAP point guard Alexandra Green.
Paulina Akonga comes with experience to help out Deolinda Gimo in the paint but they too will need to deal with Apolonia Thomas who managed nine points and six rebounds against Al Ahly.
Ferroviario will be without Cossa
In high spirits, Mucauro told FIBA.basketball that, 'We must show that we are here and ready to defend our title. We need to enter the competition very hard. We shall play with another mindset because being a champion is different from being a contender so we must fight and enjoy every game.'
Meanwhile, five-time record winners Inter Clube will be up against Sporting Alexandria in a game that is expected to bring out the best in the two sides with a lot at stake for both sides.
Senegalese super star Astou Traore will debut at this competition against a top opponent in Sporting but alongside point guard Italee Lucas, they present a big test for the hosts.
Lucas will lead Inter Clube's from the back court
Sporting captain Mai Helwa and Asrar Bakr have their work cut down but playing for pride will be at the center of their motivation.
Mountain of Fire from Nigeria will be up against Benin's Energie while CNSS from Democratic Republic of Congo will be hoping for a perfect start when they take on Al Ahly in the last game of the day.
Rana Elseady relishes playing at home