Vice President of the Egyptian federation Mohamed Abdel-Motaleb speaks to Eurobasket in a detailed interview were he expressed his confidence on a bright future awaits Egypt's national team, discussed his future plans, atmosphere inside the federation, and commented on top star players:
1.A long way to go before Egypt starts 2019 World Cup qualifiers, what are your plans for the national team during the coming period?
Simply, we have to work harder and smarter than others. Continue improving on all aspects; making Egyptian league more competitive and attractive, work with our players abroad, add to our coaches' knowledge and experience, and finally find the financial capacity to help us in our programs
2.Why the team doesn't participate in one of the NBA summer leagues in Orlando or Vegas? Iran had already participated in 2008.
We never got such a chance and I'm not sure if that's what really need taking into account the big gap of levels with NBA teams.
3.If you joined one of the summer leagues, you can take the advantage and invite Egyptian Americans who plays college basketball and doesn't represent the national team like Abd El Nader who is the best Egyptian talent in NCAA and others to build a stronger team core. Isn't it worth a try to take part this summer?
Not all Egyptian players abroad are interested in joining the NT. Some even don't know about it. In some cases, when we contacted the technical staff of these players they requested being in the technical staff of the national team of Egypt as a condition to bring these boys. Secondly, knowing mentality of our players, I know they would love to get back home to see their families and friends.
4.Getting back to 2015 African Championship, do you regret the dismissal of coach Pep Claros which I know you are a big fan of? Do you think the team would have performed better with Pep?
Undoubtedly Coach Marie is one of the best Egyptian coaches and he made good job with the team, but I had a different view than the board. Pep is great coach and person and he believes in our talents and ability to achieve, however no one what would happen with Pep. I thought that Pep+ good selection of internal and abroad players + good preparation games can help us.
5.Some coaches are famous for knocking out title contenders and taking above average teams to a higher level like Tab Baldwin with Jordan & Philippines and Claros in Canadian league which is exactly what Egypt is looking for. What are your plans for the next national team coach?
Our plans next summer are competitions free to play as much as we can. We have already received invitation from William Jones cup and looking for other games in Europe this is our main concern. The new coach will be chosen and agreed with by the new board as the election will take place in September 2016.
6.Can Pep accept being again the Egyptian team head coach in the coming few years?
Yes, I think so if he was selected to the job he will accept it with pleasure. He's doing an amazing job right now in Bahrain.
7.When watching our players during the national team anthem against Angola you can feel the lack of confidence and the defeat before even the game had started. How would you solve this in future?
Angola is great team and has significant African experience. I believe in our capability to dominate the future. Most of those players have played against Angola previously in junior African Championships and had won. They will do it on the senior level I know for sure
8.If you analyze Assem Marei's performance in the last African tournament it was clear that he's affected by missing Wael Badr passing ability and the excellent chemistry between them. Which player do you see as Wael successor as pass first point guard?
I always call Assem the pride of the Egyptian national teams' production. He was affected by his injury mainly and the absence of Wael to an extent. Wael is experienced veteran leader and hard to replace. We have many talents in the pipeline but they need time. I personally believe that Ezzeldein from Sporting club can be the next PG of the NT.
9.In the NBA exists the position of General Manager who appoints the coach and has the upper hand in the selection of players that fits well with his team through trades, drafts and free agency. Can any Arab league or national team accept this philosophy one day?
In the Arab leagues yes and maybe it started in Etihad club this year. On the national team level, it's complete different story. You are talking about different 12 players each championship. Think it's hard to be done.
10.When we would see the Playoff system in the Egyptian league?
We are studying a change in the competition system since the world cup qualification system has changed. Playoff system can be adapted.
11.Have you decided which stadium in Egypt will host the playoff games of the National team?
No not yet, however Cairo and Alexandria maybe the host cities based on the requirements of FIBA in terms of airports, hotels, and transportation
12.Why we don't host an NBA preseason game at the pyramids same as we did previously in Squash and indoor football?
NBA started to look at North Africa. With Saleh Mejri in NBA and our Anas Mahmoud, they recognized untapped talent pool. There are some projects in the near future I believe.
13.Do you realize that we never heard about any problems in the Federation before surprisingly finishing 2nd at 2013 African Cup (with 4 losses), but since the start of problems and rumors in media last year we finished 5th (with a single loss). How's the current atmosphere inside the federation?
There are always change in views everywhere, it's just how you handle it. After Spain World Cup qualification, the media started to follow the federation closely, and unfortunately our arguments were out to the public. Now, things are calmer. Everybody wants to finish the final season perfectly.
14.When we would start seeing match stats on the Egyptian federations website? Lebanese league is publishing its stats so what's missing to take this step?
We started enforcing the clubs to have statistics staff with them as first step. We have plans to launch a specific team for this task to follow and update on daily basis.
15.There aren't any strong basketball leagues in the world without foreign players. Do you expect them to return during the coming season?
Again, as we are studying the change of competition system, we are looking at the foreigners to be back to the league, and I'm sure they will return if not next season, the following one will.
16.it was a good step to see Ahmed Khalaf moving to Spain after signing an agreement with the agent of Serge Ibaka and Kristaps Porzingis in the NBA. I expect Etihad guard Mido to be Egypt's leading scorer but it seems that he wants to continue in Egyptian league, what do you advice him?
I did not hear about Mido's move. He's very talented but has discipline issues. If he overcomes it, he can play anywhere in Europe.
17.Sporting Cub has its own channel the displays all it's basketball games, why doesn't the federation makes the same and create its channel? Later on you can make top plays of each game week and send it to all sport website for advertisement of the league.
We are finalizing this issue. We will broadcast the games on EBBF channel shortly.
18.Finally when would we invest in our coaches and send them to join training camps with top European and American teams?
We did it before with our friend in Turkey. Soon, some of the promising coaches will be invited to attend training camps with European teams.
Egypt Qualifies to the Africa Basketball Championship 2017 - 5 days ago
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Egypt attains victory and qualifies to the 29 FIBA Africa Basketball Championship, known as Afro-Basket 2017, to take place on August 19 to August 30 in Brazzaville, Congo. Qualifications for this prestigious event are divided to seven zones, and Egypt has been placed in the fifth zone. In a final match of the 2017 Afro Basket qualifier for zone five, Egypt outperformed its rival, Uganda, and scored 95-72. On March 18, Egypt competed against Uganda and qualified for the the Africa Basketb... [read more]
Egypt attains victory and qualifies to the 29 FIBA Africa Basketball Championship, known as Afro-Basket 2017, to take place on August 19 to August 30 in Brazzaville, Congo. Qualifications for this prestigious event are divided to seven zones, and Egypt has been placed in the fifth zone. In a final match of the 2017 Afro Basket qualifier for zone five, Egypt outperformed its rival, Uganda, and scored 95-72. On March 18, Egypt competed against Uganda and qualified for the the Africa Basketball Championship 2017 at the Cairo International Stadium. Also, Uganda, the runner-up, has qualified for Afro-Basket 2017. Moving to the women's competition, the 23 FIBA Africa Championship for Women, also known as Afro-Basket Women 2017, is taking place on September 15 to September 24 in Mali. Qualification for such an important event is divided to six zones, where only the champion of each zone is qualified. Egyptian national women team surprised the world after it had beaten Uganda's team 92-68, at the fifth zone's final and celebrated the victory on March 18 at the Cairo International Stadium. Courtesy of: egyptianstreets.com
Kenya men routed 86-47 by Egypt - relegated to caliber of Somalia - 9 days ago
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Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi now the countries challenging Egypt for top honours in Fiba Zone 5 African basketball. KENYA men were bundled out of the Zone 5 AfroBasket 2017 qualifiers in Cairo on Wednesday evening, their severe 86-47 rout by home team Egypt underlining the very low standards of the Kenyan sport. The team thus lost all their Group 'A' matches of the championships; earlier defeats being an emphatic 76-60 by Rwanda and a shocking 66-68 loss to South Sudan who were playing their f... [read more]
Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi now the countries challenging Egypt for top honours in Fiba Zone 5 African basketball. KENYA men were bundled out of the Zone 5 AfroBasket 2017 qualifiers in Cairo on Wednesday evening, their severe 86-47 rout by home team Egypt underlining the very low standards of the Kenyan sport. The team thus lost all their Group 'A' matches of the championships; earlier defeats being an emphatic 76-60 by Rwanda and a shocking 66-68 loss to South Sudan who were playing their first international tournament. Kenya have now been relegated to classification play-offs condemning them to the caliber of Somalia whom coach Carey Odhiambo 's men play next in the non-consequential 'rubber' on Friday. Meanwhile, semi-finalists include Uganda who were unbeaten in Group 'B', Rwanda who were runners-up to Egypt in Group 'A' and Burundi who were second in a three-team Group 'B'. The two teams in the final will earn places in the AfroBasket 2017 men's championship in Brazzaville, Congo (August 19-30). Being overtaken by Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda just questions the future of Kenya's men's basketball. After matches in the three-team round-robin event for women, Egypt beat both Uganda (86-56) and Kenya (87-62) to top the table and earn the single place to the AfroBasket 2017, Mali (September 15-24). Kenya's win for a second place was a 70-41 upset of Uganda. Fixtures indicate return matches but in any case, Egypt have already booked their place in the African championships. Courtesy of: voiceofsports.net
Elegant Sagesse Get Past Egyptian National Team - 1 month ago
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Sagesse took on the Egyptian national team as both teams pursued the win to put one foot in the semi-finals. Sagesse started the game off well with good box outs, switching on defense, and hustle on every play. Todd was able to score from his favorite spot on couple of occasions. Michael Efevberha (193-G-84, college: CS Northridge) and Terrell Stoglin(185-G-91, college: Maryland) were able to find spaces in the Egyptian zone to knock down their shots. Sagesse were focused and energetic on... [read more]
Sagesse took on the Egyptian national team as both teams pursued the win to put one foot in the semi-finals. Sagesse started the game off well with good box outs, switching on defense, and hustle on every play. Todd was able to score from his favorite spot on couple of occasions. Michael Efevberha (193-G-84, college: CS Northridge) and Terrell Stoglin (185-G-91, college: Maryland) were able to find spaces in the Egyptian zone to knock down their shots. Sagesse were focused and energetic on both sides of the floor. The best first quarter for Sagesse in this tournament ended in their favor 26-14. In the second q, the Egyptians tried to get back into the game with a full-court defense and some quick plays with their HULK opening spaces under the rim ( Yeah a 2.25m guy is definitely a HULK, not a man). They were able to close the gap to 5 points. The Egyptians kept on pounding and found their touch from behind the arc to tie the game at 40. With 2 seconds left Bashir gave his team a 42-40 lead going into HT. In the beginning of the third, both teams traded buckets as the Egyptian defense started to suffocate the Lebanese offense. Todd O'brian continued his excellent performance to keep his team in the game. Terrell was being pushed and shoved all game long but was still able to score some hard buckets. Sagesse were able to maintain their lead 59-56. In the last q, Sagesse kept on fighting to maintain their lead. Couple of Terrell buckets and some great defending from Todd, Patrick and Bashir kept the lead with 5 min left. Sagesse shared the ball greatly with double teams always placed on Terrell and Mike. Players like Patrick found the gap to score a crucial shot and get the lead up to 5 with 3 min left. In the dying minutes, Sagesse looked for their go-to guy, none other than Terrell Stoglin who put the game to bed with couple of free throws. The game ended 81-75 in Sagesse's favor. Courtesy of: sports-961.com
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