By Joe Apu
AfroBasket 2015 silver medalists Angola have began their bid to reclaim the AfroBasket title they lost to Nigeria.
The country’s newly appointed head coach Manuel Silva on Wednesday named 22 players for their FIBA AfroBasket 2017 preparations.
Silva kept all but one player who featured at FIBA AfroBasket 2015 in Tunisia where they lost to Nigeria in the Final. Braulio Morais suffered a motorbike accident early this year and is still recovering.
Meanwhile, Olimpio Cipriano, who was named Most Valuable Player of 2017 Angola BIC Basket League, and sat out the latest edition of the African championship due to an injury, is set to make his return.
Among the newcomers, Leandro Da Conceicao, son of Angola great Jean Jacques Da Conceicao, is joined by 19-year-old Alexandre Jungo, Teotonio Do and Pedro Bastos.
Angola rising star Bruno Fernandes, who will miss the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup due to academic reasons, has also been called up for the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 preparations.
According to a statement from the Angolan Basketball Federation, the former African champions will open their preparation on June 19 in their capital city of Luanda.
This year’s FIBA AfroBasket is expected to take place in Angola in September.
List of teams qualified for the FIBA Africa’s most important competition includes reigning champions Nigeria, Angola, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa.