25-01-2014: While all eyes were on the India women’s basketball squad in the second tie of the day, in the background, African teams excelled for the second consecutive day.
The first match of the day was that between the men’s team from Macau and Mozambique. Just as the women did on the first day, the African men annihilated their Asian counterparts. Macau started the first quarter off in fine fashion, but before long, their opponents had caught on to their game-play, and the eventual result stood at 29-9. At the game’s end the result stood at 100-34 in favour of Mozambique.
Looking forward to the next match Mozambique ‘s Coach, Cesar Mujui, said, “I felt that today, perhaps some aspects of our game needed sharpening. This is especially true of our defense. I think that by the second fixture this would be sorted out.”
The Captain of the team, Luis de Barros pointed out to the next opponent’s strengths saying, “Macau weren’t strong physically, and as such, we overcame them today, but this will be more difficult to ascertain against Cape Verde.”
Macau’s official spoke on the day’s events, with the Head Coach, Wong Keng Long, addressing obvious flaws, “It is always difficult to go up against strong opposition, but today, we were much sharper than in our first game. This experience will help us develop for the future.”
Captain Seng Leon Chi said, “We have much work to do, if we are to improve. We are in a nascent stage still, as a squad, but the experience in itself will help us grow.”
The women’s match of the day, saw India take on Macau, with a thoroughly one-sided beating on the cards for the Macanese. With stellar performances from every player to grace the court, India wrapped up a comprehensive victory at 110-45.
Indian Head Coach, Francisco Garcia, said, “There are areas that need a fair amount of tweaking and developing. We will address these before the next game. I think that we were found wanting defensively, but our offense speaks for itself through the end score.”
The Captain, Jeena PS, was in agreement, “We realised that we had the upper hand, and then we pushed on. It was interesting for us, because we aren’t yet a fully fledged team. There are many youth players in the squad, and I hope that we can play just as well against Mozambique, who will be physically superior.”
Macau’s Captain amicably discussed the events that unfolded, saying, “Everyone knows that Goa-India are favourites to win the tournament. There is no harm in losing to them. We have had an excellent time here in Goa despite having lost both games.”
Head Coach Wong Hong Tok, added, “The game was very difficult for us. The Goa-India team were not too difficult to deal with physically, but threatened us with constant press play and attack at all times.”
The big African contest, that saw plenty of tension, was between the men’s squads from Angola and Guinea Bissau. The match saw plenty of physicality, with the end result being that several of the advertising boards were turned into victims of the physical aggression.
Through sheer determination and a constant flow in attack, Angola began to build a constant and steady rhythm which ensured that a close match eventually tilted in their favour with the score at 83-46.
At the end of the game, Angolan Head Coach, Manuel Sousa said, “Considering that we have only one first team player with previous exposure and the rest is the generation that people tout to be record breakers, the result was stupendous. I think that there might have been a few calls that we felt might have gone our way, technically. However, the result and performance is what counts.”
His Captain, Hermeniecanldo Santos, added, “It was a good game. We were pushed until half-time. From there on we built momentum, and we nailed the game.”
His counterpart, Florentino Lopes Rodrigues, discussing the result, said, “This is a great beginning for us. We have learnt much from this trip, and are looking to develop further from it, especially with club exposure.”