Afrobasket 2025 (Q): Guinea out to spoil the party

Afrobasket 2025 (Q): Guinea out to spoil the party

Guinea will take part in the Afrobasket 2025 qualifiers from February 23 to 25. They are in Group E alongside Kenya, Angola, the most successful country, and Tunisia, the two-time defending champions. Despite a difficult preparatory period, the Syli basketball team is aiming to be a real threat to reach the final stages of the competition.

Quarter-finalists at the last Afrobasket in Rwanda in 2021, Guinea headed to Monastir (Tunisia) for the first qualifying round of Afrobasket 2025.The Guinean squad, made up of players mostly based abroad, is hoping to secure a qualifying ticket for the final tournament.The Guinean Basketball Federation says it's ready for action. "Today, we're up against Angola, who were world champions, and Tunisia, who have been one of the continent's top teams for a number of years and took part in the Olympic Games. We're going to take these matches as seriously as possible," promises Oumar Camara Sampil, General Secretary of Feguibasket.


If they are to achieve their goal of reaching the Afrobasket finals in 2025, they will have to overcome Kenya, Angola (with its 11 titles) and Tunisia, the two-time defending champions. Eighth place at the last Afrobasket, Guinea is no longer a small thumb. Over time, the team has matured and gained in experience. At the last Afrobasket, Syli basket failed to reach the semi-finals. A result that gives Guinea hope of better things to come in these qualifiers.

A new status to assume

For the General Secretary of the Guinean Basketball Federation, it's a new status to assume. "Now Guinea is expected. We can no longer act as a surprise and define ourselves as a small thumb.This is no longer the team that tiptoed in. We've got experience now," says Oumar Camara Sampil. He continues: "We're lucky to have experienced players who've been with the national team for 3 or 4 years. We also have top-quality players playing at the highest level in Europe, such as Alpha Diallo with AS Monaco, Shannon Evans and Abdoulaye Sy. We're hoping to do some interesting things. Recovery will be important. We're counting on our staff to do a good job and be at the top of their game.

For these qualifiers, Guinea can count on top-class players.

Captain Cédric Mansaré, who was also absent from the last World Cup qualifiers, is back. He makes no secret of his ambitions."This qualification is important to us, we must have the chance to take part in this Afrobasket 2025.I love this kind of match. We're going to do everything we can to qualify and take part in the competition," promises the captain. A key figure in Guinea's qualification for this competition 38 years after their last appearance, the captain is more ambitious than ever."Angola and Tunisia are still top African nations. We'll be able to test ourselves against these big teams. We've got a very good team, and now we're going to make sure everything goes well, on and off the pitch. I think we're better armed than before. Basketball is evolving from year to year and I think we have our ambitions and we're going to play to our strengths,"reassures Cédric Mansaré.

Far from ideal preparation

Despite a difficult financial context, marked in particular by the sacking of the Guinean government, the Guinean delegation arrived in Tunisia for these qualifiers. According to the General Secretary of the Guinean Basketball Federation, the Guinean team's preparations were hampered by a number of problems."Given that we had difficulty gathering players beforehand, given the situation of the Ministry of Sports and that of the federation, we stayed with the FIBA window. We mobilized the players from February 21. So we'll only have two days of collective training. This limits our group cohesion. It's the experience of this group that we haven't had too much time to train together," laments Oumar Camara Sampil. But that's no reason to be discouraged.For this official, despite this context, the Syli is better equipped to take up the challenge."Knowing all the difficulties in our environment at home, the players come to wear the jersey. It's great of the players to come for the flag," praises the Feguibasket General Secretary.

In their opening qualifier for Afrobasket 2025, Guinea take on Angola this Friday, February 23, before facing Tunisia and Kenya respectively in the final match of the window. Syli basketball will be looking to pick up as many points as possible before the return leg in a year's time. Faced with an Angolan team they have never beaten, Syli basketball face a tough task.

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