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Olusegun Ikuesan

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First Day Schedule
Group A
Nigeria 50% Sep.8 Ivory Coast
DR Congo 50% Sep.8 Mali
Group B
Angola 50% Sep.8 Uganda
Cent.Africa 50% Sep.8 Morocco
Group C
Guinea 50% Sep.8 Rwanda
Tunisia 50% Sep.8 Cameroon
Group D
Senegal 50% Sep.8 S.Africa
Mozambique 50% Sep.8 Egypt
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Tunisia 2015 Afrobasket: Parfait Bitee's unfinished business with Cameroon - Jun 23, 2015


POSTED BY:
OLUSEGUN IKUESAN
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Parfait
Bitee
Parfait Bitee will not feel his basketball career has been fulfilled until Cameroon national team maximises its abundant talent.

Since Cameroon returned to the AfroBasket in 2007 following a 15-year absence, they have become a powerhouse in African basketball.

However, their second-place finish in Angola that year has been their only appearance on the podium in the last four editions of Africa's biggest basketball event.

Now that he is part of Cameroon's 26-player preliminary squad for AfroBasket 2015, Bitee believes this is a superb opportunity to live his basketball dream.

"Since I began this journey playing for the national team, the two goals that I always had were to win an AfroBasket and play in the Olympic games," he said to FIBA.com.

Back in 2007, Bitee helped Cameroon win five games in a row, but they were denied in the Final against hosts Angola, who qualified directly for the 2008 Beijing Games.

Despite the setback, Cameroon had a second chance to qualify for the Olympics, but defeats to Croatia and Puerto Rico at the 2008 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Athens postponed Bitee's Olympic aspirations.

This time around, Cameroon will face Egypt, Gabon and Mali in Group-C of the continental championship taking place in Nabeul and Tunis, Tunisia (19-30 August), on the road to next year's Olympics.

They will need to win the tournament to gain direct qualification for the Rio Games. A second or third-place finish will see them return to the OQT.

Looking at Cameroon's preliminary squad, it certainly seems to gather the best talents the country has to offer.

"Yes, it appears to be a deep team and I really hope it is as promising as its appearance," Bitee noted.

He has three AfroBasket appearances under his belt (2007, 2009 and 2011), and one thing that he has learned over the years is never to underestimate opponents in the tournament.

"We have to make sure that all the pieces fit together with a good and smart preparation," the 1.92 point guard warned.

"And lastly the ability to manage those pieces well at the competition will be crucial."

Cameroon will open their Group-C campaign on 19 August in Nabeul against Mali, a team they trounced 89-35 at AfroBasket 2013 in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.

Things might be different this time around though.

"Egypt will probably be the stronger and most experienced team from all three," the former Rhode Island University standout said. "They've gotten better over the years. I really don't know much about Gabon and Mali, but knowing the competition I think they should be taken as seriously as any team in this event."

Bitee, who last season played for Moroccan side Maghred de FES, feels he made the most of his international career and is a more experienced player.

"Of course I'm mature now and I have more experiences from the previous competitions," the 29-year-old said.

"I do feel better about my game and I'm sure that I will be able to bring useful skills to the table. One of them is definitely leadership."

But there is one question that remains unanswered about Cameroon basketball given their talented players.

"Why have we not been on the podium of the AfroBasket since 2007?," Bitee asked. "In my opinion, it is due to the fact that we haven't gotten better as team, players and coaches.

"As we can acknowledge, many teams got better such as Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria and Senegal. Even the toughest Angola team is back to the top.

"In 2007, we didn't have a single practice going to that competition. Every player had to prepare on their own, then we were put together in Angola the day before the event. But it was a well-managed team in the sense that lots of adjustments were made, we were focused and we had the most fun competing.

"Since then, I believe we've gotten away from those things, and yet our Federation has done a good job providing us with a preparation before a tournament."

FIBA.com Parfait Bitee (188-G-85, agency: Interperformances, college: Rhode Island)   




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African Championships Standings
Group A
 1. DRCongo 0-0 
 2. Ivory Coast 0-0 
 3. Mali 0-0 
 4. Nigeria 0-0 
Group B
 1. Angola 0-0 
 2. C.Africa 0-0 
 3. Morocco 0-0 
 4. Uganda 0-0 
Group C
 1. Cambodia 0-0 
 2. Guinea 0-0 
 3. Rwanda 0-0 
 4. Tunisia 0-0 
Group D
 1. Egypt 0-0 
 2. Mozambique 0-0 
 3. S.Africa 0-0 
 4. Senegal 0-0 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Gorgui DIENG
  SEN
  (211-C-90)
  Avg: 22.6
 1. Dieng, SEN22.6 
 2. Xavier, USA19.6 
 3. Matos, POR18.8 
 4. Diabate, IVO18.4 
 5. Kouguere, CGO18.0 
 6. Harath, ALG16.9 
 7. Oguchi, NGR16.6 
 8. Kourodu, MOR16.6 
 9. Mendy, SEN16.3 
 10. Zouita, MOR15.8 
Rebounds Per Game
 Gorgui DIENG
  SEN
  (211-C-90)
  Avg: 14.9
 1. Dieng, SEN14.9 
 2. Mascarenhas, CPV10.0 
 3. Lawal, NGR9.0 
 4. Chikoko, ZIM8.8 
 5. Almeida, CPV8.4 
 6. Marei, EGY8.4 
 7. Sebirumbi, USA7.8 
 8. Grebongo, CAF7.6 
 9. Aminu, NGR7.3 
 10. Ben Romdhane, TUN7.3 
Assists Per Game
 Xane DALMEIDA
  SEN
  (181-PG-83)
  Avg: 7.4
 1. Dalmeida, SEN7.4 
 2. Khalfi, MOR6.0 
 3. Diabate, IVO5.8 
 4. Almeida, CPV4.4 
 5. Xavier, USA4.0 
 6. Matos, MOZ3.8 
 7. Dieng, SEN3.7 
 8. Benzegala, USA3.7 
 9. Kamal, EGY3.4 
 10. Kante, MLI3.3 
Steals Per Game
 Destin DAMACHOUA
  CAF
  (185-G-86)
  Avg: 3.6
 1. Damachoua, CAF3.6 
 2. Essono Mve, GAB3.0 
 3. Diabate, IVO2.8 
 4. Matos, MOZ2.8 
 5. Almeida, CPV2.8 
 6. Amin, EGY2.4 
 7. Akanda-C., CAN2.4 
 8. Boundou, GAB2.0 
 9. Maturure, ZIM2.0 
 10. Harras, MOR2.0 
Blocks Per Game
 Vitalis CHIKOKO
  ZIM
  (207-F/C-91)
  Avg: 3.2
 1. Chikoko, ZIM3.2 
 2. Mejri, TUN2.5 
 3. Lasme, GAB1.8 
 4. Dieng, SEN1.3 
 5. Aminu, NGR1.3 
 6. Moreira, ANG1.3 
 7. Oraby, EGY1.3 
 8. Almeida, CPV1.2 
 9. Sene, SEN1.2 
 10. Mascarenhas, CPV1.2 
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