Kenyans fancy chances as Angolan champs out
1 months ago, 15 Nov 15:39
Angola’s defending champions Primero de Agosto have surprisingly withdrawn from this year's Africa Women’s Club Basketball Championship which start on Friday in Maputo.
While the withdrawal of the record African champions has caught organizers here by surprise, it is music to the ears of the other teams with Kenya Ports Authority coach Anthony Ojukwu asking his players to focus on the top prize and not to relax with the champs out.
Tournament official Usher Komugisha said the reigning champions, who have won the championships a record eight times, cited lack of funds as the main reason for their withdrawal.
"They simply said they are short of funds which is actually a big surprise because the team is attached to the Angolan Armed Forces which is its main sponsor,” she said.
Primero De Agosto has been one of the best equipped and better managed teams on the continent with its players living lavishly thanks to attractive salaries.
Traditionally, they travel on charter flights to international competitions.
Based in Luanda, Primero De Agosto compete in local leagues in the Angolan capital besides featuring regularly in continental inter-club tournaments.
Primero De Agosto is one of the oldest clubs in Africa having been founded 41 years ago and remains one of the most successful Angolan sides having won a record 18 domestic league titles, 14 Cups, 12 Super Cups.
They beat Mozambique’s Ferroviaro in last year’s final in Luanda and were heavily tipped to retain their title here.
Besides Kenyan clubs KPA and Equity Bank, other clubs competing here are Cameroon’s FAP, Lakers (Zimbabwe), ABC NSIS (Congo), Inter Club (Congo DR), First Bank (Nigeria) and Deportivo (Mozambique).
The tournament’s draw was scheduled for later Thursday evening.