Mozambique has announced they will resume their training camp in Turkey ahead of next month’s FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) in Belgrade, Serbia.
The Mozambicans have been in camp for almost four weeks, and will travel to Turkey later this week. In Maputo they played local teams in Maputo, but according to head coach Leonel Manhique, it’s time to step up their preparation.
While Manhique has been working with home-based players, he reiterated that Spain-based pair Leia Dongue and Tamara Seda will join the team this week.
“In Turkey we are going to play warm-up games against well-prepared teams similarly to what we are going to face in Belgrade. We hope to play some Euroleague teams,” the tactician explained.
Manhique has pre-selected 14 players from which he will select 10 to join Seda and Dongue whose “preparedness is well advanced because they are competing in the Spanish League,” Manhique noted.
Mozambique will open their WOQT campaign against Nigeria on February 6, before going up against reigning Olympic and World champions USA and hosts Serbia.
It’s Mozambique’s second WOQT appearance having competed in the tournament in 2012 in Ankara, Turkey, where they missed out on a spot to the London Olympics.
Six years ago, Mozambique made their World Cup debut in Turkey.
“We hope to be up to the challenge and qualify for the Olympic Games 2020,” Manhique explained.
Mozambique secured one of the two WOQT tickets available for African teams after finishing second in the pre-qualifiers tournament in their capital city of Maputo.
Japan and USA will play in the WOQT but will advance through to the Tokyo 2020 Women’s Olympic Basketball Tournament regardless of their results.
One Mozambique win in Belgrade might open them the door to their first-ever Olympics appearance.