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Mozambique win Zone 6 Qualifier, advance to FIBA AfroCan 2019 - Jun 12, 2019


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Pio Matos
Mozambique advanced to the newly-launched FIBA AfroCan thanks to a 3-1 mark in last week's FIBA Africa Zone 6 regional qualifiers in Harare, Zimbabwe. With Angola qualified for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and following the withdrawals of neighbouring countries Namibia, and South Africa the tournament consisted of three countries. Even though Mozambique lost to the hosts 67-61 in the opening day of the Southern African region qualifier, they outscored Zimbabwe in the return-leg 85-60 before trouncing Zambia twice in as many games. "We are happy for our qualification for the AfroCan 2019, we overcame a number of obstacles, but this qualifiers serves as a wake-up call for us as a country. We need to be and do better than this," Mozambique shooting guard Pio Matos (185-G-90) said to FIBA.basketball. "Mozambique basketball shareholders must be held accountable for the struggles we faced preparing for this tournament. As much as we love our country, we can't continue making the same management mistakes over and over again. "In order to have a successful AfroCan campaign this summer we are going to need to be better. We have talented players, but we need a better basketball administration." Asked to describe the on-the-court challenges Mozambique faced in Harare, the 28-year-old admitted that they needed to step up against "a very good Zimbabwe team who has professional players on the squad. We knew that we needed to beat Zimbabwe in the second game, otherwise we would be in trouble qualify." "Zambia plays a very physical game, and we needed to play cleverly to beat them too," he added. It was Mozambique's first international appearance after falling short to advance to the Second Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers. "We were unlucky in the World Cup Qualifiers, especially because of the high number of players injured," Matos recalled. "David Canivete (193-SF-89), my twin brother and myself suffered injuries that prevented us from giving our best shot in Dakar [the site of Group D's second-leg]. We have regrouped and we target good things in the AfroCan 2019," he explained.

The FIBA AfroCan will take in Bamako, Mali from July 16-28.
FIBA AfroCan Zone 6 scores:
June 3: Zimbabwe v Mozambique (67-61)
June 4: Mozambique v Zambia (90-47)
June 5: Zambia v Zimbabwe (60-91)
June 6: Mozambique v Zimbabwe (80-65)
June 7: Zambia v Mozambique (60-71)
June 8: Zimbabwe v Zambia (60-66)

FIBA AfroCan 2019 Zone 6 Qualifiers Final Standings:
1. Mozambique (3-1)
2. Zimbabwe (2-2)
3. Zambia (1-3)
Courtesy of: FIBA   




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